DESERT HIGHWAYS CONTRIBUTORS TOP 10 LIST’S (+ MORE) FOR 2018!

Here’s a few of the Desert Highways team’s Top lists for 2018. Thank you all for your support again throughout 2018, it’s very much appreciated! Also a massive thanx to all of our contributors. Very proud to work with such an incredibly talented group of people!

Mark Ireland – Writer.

Best gigs 2018:
Power TripBendigo Hotel.
Roger WatersRod Lavar Arena.
MAMMALCroxton Bandroom.
Streaker Gate Benefit GigGasometer.
Meredith Music Festival: The Presets, Billy Bragg, Little Ugly Girls.
The Stems, Even Northcote Social Club.
Boogie Festival: Cable Ties, Clowns, The Southern River Band, Birdcloud, Cash Savage.
Golden Plains Festival: Mogwai, Baker Boy, Black Angels.
Stiff Little FingersCroxton Bandroom.
Download Festival: NoFx, Hot Water Music, Prophets of Rage, Arch Enemy.
BeckMargaret Court Arena.
David ByrneMargaret Court Arena.
The Demon Parade – Psych FestThe Tote Hotel.
Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, El Colosso Sookie Lounge.
ShameThe Tote Hotel.
Future Of The LeftThe Old Bar.

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PBS FM – HEAVY And HAMMERED 4. Grindhouse, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Seedy Jeezus, Muscle Car, Demon Head, La Bronco, Ute Root, Pseudo Mind Hive, Devil Electric, Vertigo, Interceptors, Bitch Diesel, Ion Drive, Subterranean Disposition, Shannon Bourne, Arcane Saints. The Tote Hotel, Melbourne. 06-10-2018.

Photos Stephen Boxshall.

The past four years PBS radio  have put on Heavy and Hammered at The Tote to showcase Melbourne’s amazing scene of metal, stoner and punk bands.

Over the past year there has been a lot of controversy in the press about gig line ups and festivals not being equally balanced in the male / female ratio of bands on the bill, PBS have stood above the crowd and presented a line up that promotes equality and gender.  Which just goes to prove that Melbourne can provide a balanced lineup of bands without compromising their integrity. Continue reading

EL COLOSSO ‘Pathways’ Album Review.

Words Mark Ireland.

Immediacy is the first word that come to mind as soon as the track ‘Doom Boogie’ drops first on the El Colosso album, Pathways. Its relentless riffs never let go, vocalist Matt Cooper is an absolute powerhouse monster of a singer, reminiscent of all my favourite singers from the last 20 years; Layne Staley, Chris Cornell and a million other in between his pitch and range are out of this world, he holds the words in such taut tight control, that you become breathless in awe.

The single ‘Leatherhead’ is a perfect first release, its groove heavy rhythm will have you punching holes in the walls and screaming with ecstatic pleasure.

‘The Hunted’ just pulverises your ears until a river of blood is flowing.

The title track ‘Pathways’, has more ridiculously heavy riffling that entrances you so deep that not even a trained hypnotist could wake you up! Continue reading

BRANT BJORK, Holy Serpent, Don Fernando, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene. The Corner Hotel, Melbourne. 13-05-2017.

Words Mark Ireland.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

Stoner legend Brant Bjork has been a frequent visitor to our shores, so when his tour was announced, all the desert rats come out in droves. Before the show at The Corner, Bjork had already played Negative Waves in Geelong and Cherry Rock at Cherry Bar. Along for the ride he bought Holy SerpentDon Fernando and Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene.

It’d been a long time between beers since I’ve seen FTFDS so I made sure I was front and centre. As soon the riff for ‘Better Off Dead’ kicked in I was pinned to the wall. The unique thing about this band is the three part harmonies, it gives the performance incredible strength. They finish off with the sludgiest version of ‘Facing The Ruin’, by the end of the set my heart was in my throat and my ears were blasted, did I care? Not in the slightest. Continue reading

NEGATIVE WAVES: Brant Bjork, Dwarves, Nashville Pussy, HITS, The Peep Tempel, The Ruiner, Batpiss, Hobo Magic, Zeahorse, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Dr. Colossus, Don Fernando, The Living Eyes, Good Time Aussie Bogalars, Killerbirds, Sabrina Lawrie & The Hunting Party, Smoke Witch, Holy Serpent. The Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong. 06-05-2017.

Photos Stephen Boxshall.

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TRUCKFIGHTERS, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Them Bruins. Prince Bandroom, Melbourne. 09-01-2016. Post #2.

Words Anthony Moore.
Photos + live footage Barry Takes Photos.

© 2016. Barry Takes Photos.Swedish fuzz-rockers Truckfighters never stop touring. They were only last here a year ago with sold out shows and Australia doing what we can to adopt them as our own. With another successful run of dates in 2016, it was Melbourne’s turn to once again completely lose their shit over the Truckfighters! Continue reading

TRUCKFIGHTERS, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Them Bruins. Prince Bandroom, Melbourne. 09-01-2016. Post #1.

Photos Barry Takes Photos.


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CHERRY ROCK 2015! Red Fang, The Shrine, Beastwars, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Child, Clowns, Horsehunter, HITS, My Left Boot, Los Hombres Del Diablo, Warped, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus. Cherry Bar, Melbourne. 10-05-2015.

Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia and Anthony Moore.

On the morning of festivals Melbourne often likes to act all dramatic. Early on Sunday it was cold, wet and overcast and looking like this years Cherry Rock was going to be a soggy mess. To be honest the only difference it made to my attire for the day was to throw a couple of sealable lunch bags into my pocket to save my phones life in the event of a flood. Nothing though was going to stop the punters this year with international headliners Red Fang (US), The Shrine (US) and Beastwars (NZ) as well as a strong local contingent featuring Warped, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Horsehunter, My Left Boot, Clowns, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus, and interstaters HITS (Brisbane) and Los Hombres Del Diablo (Sydney).

The rain had already subsided as punters started to roll up at midday. The dual-stage fest kicked off with Dr Colossus on the AC/DC Lane stage and sounded incredible. It was such a great mix for the two-piece whose style of rockin doom only includes lyrics about The Simpsons. Perfect. Singer / guitarist Dr. Jon’s vocals were up higher than I’ve previously heard in the mix and shot out and up the lane way giving their sound extra depth and strength. Best I’ve heard them.

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BLACK SABBATH TRIBUTE: The Wizards, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene. The Yarraville Club, Melbourne. 13-02-2015.

Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

Black Sabbath TributePerforming the entire ‘Black Sabbath’ debut album live on its precise 45th anniversary, and appropriately on Friday the 13th, was a collaboration of some of Melbourne’s most respected original heavy rock exponents, brought together for the first time to form a local super group, going by the name The Wizards.

With lead vocals from both Matt ‘Chappy’ Chapman (My Left Boot) and Jake Haugis (Dead City Ruins). Guitar duties were shared by Neil Wilkinson (Redcoats) and Daniel Firth (My Left Boot), bass Jim Coelli (Sheriff and A Gazillion Angry Mexicans) and on drums was Liam ‘Cuff Norris’ Cuffley (Matt Sonic & The High Times, Grindhouse and My Left Boot.)

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