SOLACE ‘The Brink’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Solace could be considered the Rolling Stones of the stoner/doom/metal/hard rock genre. They’ve led a sporadic existence for close to a quarter of a century, released a couple of absolute killer LP’s and had a career path carefully speckled with inactivity, break-ups and more drummers than you can count amongst other hilarious adventures. I also seem to recall they had put the band up on blocks permanently a few years (?) back, so the arrival of The Brink came as something of a surprise to me. Guitarist Tommy Southard has been the constant, along with partner in crime, frontman Justin Goins whose powerhouse larynx is a signature tone to the Solace sound, and if you have a listen to the brutal howls he can rip from his tonsils on a tune like the maniacal Cement Stitches, you’re gonna get a clear view of how he is integral to the bands’ output. Continue reading

SALEM’S BEND Self-Titled Debut Album Review.

Words Adam Cooper.

When I first received the debut album from Salem’s Bend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A three piece from the City of Angels conjured up pre conceived notions of what I thought LA was about. What I heard upon first listen was something totally different.

I actually thought I’d been visited by the ghost of Phil Lynott and he’d become mates with Fu Manchu, Blue Cheer and King Crimson. They were in a smoke filled share house, kicking back, head nodding to each other whilst appreciating the beauty of Led Zeppelin 4.

The opening track ‘Balshazzar’ sets the tone for a late ’60s early / ’70s fuzz-a-thon which continues throughout the seven track offering. Continue reading

LOS HOMBRES DEL DIABLO – ‘Preacher Of Darkness’ Album review.

Words El Jefe.

Preacher Of Darkness is the second release from Sydney’s stoner doom quintet, Los Hombres Del Diablo. The album features their then ‘new’ vocalist Luke Enright stepping in to take over from Michele Madden. Enright has since left LHDD with Sean Bowden taking over vocal duties. This is a different beast altogether to the original line-up with Madden (see a live review of the original lineup HERE). This incarnation is more straight-up stoner doom with less of the anarchic stoner rock’n’roll vibe Ms Madden brought to the table. It’s a heavy duty slab nonetheless, and seriously worth a listen IMO. If you like heavy that is; if you don’t then why the fuck are you reading this?!?! Cool songs, fat doses of raunch brought on by the fuzzed out guitars, and a slithery rhythm section driving everything forward.

A brief Morricone-esque intro leads into the doom-laden ‘Arana’, which gradually picks up a decent head of steam as it progresses. Hot on it’s heels comes ‘Bushranger’, a neat rock’n’roll song with a slight nod to Thin Lizzy. Continue reading

JOEL PARNELL (THE PARNELLS) Interview, launch gig details & more!

Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Paul Dunham.

There are a few reasons why I wanted to do a Q&A with Joel Parnell, firstly, he writes exceptional pieces for Desert Highways, but that’s not the only reason, he’s also an awesome musician and songwriter. His newest creation, The Parnells (with younger brother Michael) are about to release their debut and do a double EP launch with Rathead at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar.

I started with what I thought to be a ridiculous first question and Joel (who later admitted he was going to tell me to fuck off but wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not), went along and answered it beautifully.

Anthony Moore: Where does your band name come from?

Joel Parnell: Obviously the band name comes from our last name, which is Parnell. I guess we thought that it would be cool to use it because it has the feel of something like ‘The Ramones’ or ‘The Smiths’, only it actually is our real name. We also hope to bring in other Parnells on future records as most of the people in our family play music. If we have any success with the band, it would be nice to have made our name something to be proud of. Continue reading