DARK MOFO: Jónsi + Alex Somers + the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra ‘Riceboy Sleeps’. Federation Concert Hall, Hobart.15/06/2019.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photo Credit: Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford,2019.
Image Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Photo Credit: Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford, 2019. Image Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.First and foremost, it is essential that this writer admits and forewarns the readers interested, that there is an abundance of bias in the following article; it must be revealed that Sigur Rós are unquestionably an outfit that have enhanced myself and my adoration of music for well over a decade. The grand textures of soundscapes employed in their incomprehensibly genius post-rock sound that miraculously transports the listeners’ senses to other universes and, most importantly, the outstanding indecipherable vocals that capture emotion so flawlessly without utilising English – it is honestly paralysing in the best way possible.

The voice and integral part to this astronomical Icelandic outfit Jónsi has also released music outside of Sigur Rós, one such project with his partner Alex Somers simply entitled Jónsi and Alex. Through this artistic venture came the creation of their book and soundtrack Riceboy Sleeps – a record which eludes what was known about Jónsi and to be forthright, not particularly well. However, time has tested this creation and it has aged well, like a fine wine one forgets about. On its 10 year anniversary, it almost seemed necessary to have it performed abstractly and through a different medium, not in its acoustic rendition as originally created, but a far more “grand” scale and at arguably the best festival in Australia, Dark Mofo. Continue reading

1000mods, Filthy Lucre, Kitchen Witch. Crown And Anchor, Adelaide. 11-04-2019.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos David Rubinich.

From every perspective of the people involved with this show, there was a strong element of the “unexpected” which had transpired. However, the rare and astonishing characteristic of these surprises were that they all fell under a “positive” outlook. 1000mods managed to tour our fine nation for the first time and that would have probably felt like an impossibility over their career; furthermore, multiple shows sold out at very respectable venues including Adelaide where there was tough competition also playing at other locations on this night. It would seem that the famous Cuban writer José Martí is still very accurate with this quote, even after over 120 years since his unfortunate passing: “Charm is a product of the unexpected”. Continue reading

SLAYER, Anthrax, Behemoth. Adelaide Entertainment Centre. 13-03-2019.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos David Rubinich.

There are miniscule opportunities in a music enthusiast’s lifetime where they would experience a memorable and irreplaceable act perform for one last time; especially in a location as remote as Australia. On this night, true royalty of the Thrash Metal genre shredded and banged their identity and art into Adelaide for one last time in their marvellously macabre manner. This “ending” may have been an epilogue of sorts; but the imprint will be everlasting. Continue reading

THE OCEAN, Chaos Divine, Toehider. Jive, Adelaide. 25-01-2019.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos David Rubinich.

24 Hours prior to this event, Adelaide suffered the hottest day on record; well beyond conception. This writer was left defeated as was South Australia in reality – but our resilience wasn’t. Defeat is never our definition – and our adoration for heavy music was once again showcased in quality numbers, even though the competition for live music on this night was immense; thankfully however, three excessively talented outfits rewarded the Adelaide heavy music enthusiasts to an immeasurable degree.

Melbourne three-piece Toehider proved they were not an opener but in fact, a menace. Somehow a mixture of Rush, Judas Priest and The Mars Volta worked; it was quite the extravaganza. As eccentric as it sounds, it was defying, odd and a victory. The vocal and musical gymnastics were near super-human in substance, truthfully this was an honest understatement of how they portray their art. Adelaide for the most part, could not keep up with the insane vocal delivery of front-man and guitarist Michael Mills as it was eerily similar to Rob Halford and the band’s intricacy was enthralling. In all honesty, this was more than a pleasant surprise, it was astounding, especially with This Conversation Is Over, which had an immaculate delivery. Continue reading

AQUAMAN Movie Review – Palace Nova Eastend, Adelaide.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Thank you to Palace Nova Eastend, Adelaide.

According to an interview with Metal Hammer Magazine, Aquaman star Jason Momoa revealed that he utilised music by Black Sabbath, Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ album and Tool’s Ticks And Leeches to inspire him to become the character Arthur Curry and superhero. Upon reflection, these sources of motivation became rather evident throughout the film; it’s hard-hitting, bullish, wandering and a little bizarre.

The film is unquestionably the “introduction” to Aquaman and director/movie story cowriter James Wan has maintained a comic book authenticity with this project which is both remarkable and a bit corny to the film’s atrophy – do not become dismissive though, there is a lot of fun in this 140-minute-plus extravaganza.

It is very much a multi-player story, certainly the focus is Arthur Curry, his beginnings and birth into a multiverse existence (so to speak) as the son of Atlanna, The Queen Of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) and humble lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Tempera Morrison). Logically, it progresses to Arthur’s discovery of his powers and subsequent training by Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe) then obligation to protect both worlds he grows to become a saviour for and in terms of Atlantis, the King. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

ASH, Lead Worm. Fowlers Live, Adelaide. 14-11-2018.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos David Rubinich.

An interesting fact about Wednesday is that this character from The Addams Family named after the weekday was apparently called it by her father because “Wednesday’s child is full of woe”; upsettingly upon entrance into Fowler’s Live on this “Hump Day” evening, it appeared as though the daughter of Charles Addams had used her evil abilities to diminish Adelaide’s spirit with only a minuscule audience present for the opening act. But as former NBA star Paul Pierce once said: “The game isn’t over till the clock says zero” – truthfully, there was not one aspect about this show that represented zero at all, so the show must go on.

To say that local quartet Lead Worm were ecstatic about opening this event would be a vast understatement; it was made abundantly clear by frontman / guitarist Michael Van on numerous occasions. However, from this writer’s point of view, this was the most spirited the outfit actually became in their 40 minutes in the stage light. Admittedly, there was the reduced stage size acting as a challenging obstacle, that was more than apparent and influential on the four-piece’s abilities – although honestly, the band members seemed to have little interaction with each other or their audience during song performance. Respectably, they do transport themselves into their own musical universe that lands somewhere around the post-grunge label and it is an accomplished amalgamation. All-in-all though, their delivery presents itself as slightly insipid. The influence of Californian band Oleander was enjoyably evident on songs ‘Forgive Me’ and ‘Wasted’; furthermore, Lead Worm did have the responsibility of warming up the crowd which had now grown exponentially and to that degree, they achieved a satisfactory result. Nevertheless, maybe with more bigger supporting roles and some touring opportunities, the quartet could grow to a formidable group. Continue reading

HEAVY TRIP (Hevi Reissu) Film Review

Words Will Oakeshott.
Scandinavian Film Festival
Palace Nova Cinema Adelaide

“Symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer grinding christ abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal” – there is no denying that the aforementioned description is certainly an uncompromising and outrageous introduction, however it encapsulates a great deal of what first time writers and directors Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren have crafted with their debut full-length feature ‘Heavy Trip’ (or ‘Hevi Reissu’ in the native dialect). It should also be noted that this is the “musical genre” of the band ‘Impaled Rektum’ which this film is based upon and hopefully this has revealed, to an extent, that this movie is a comedy and a bloody hilarious one on that note.

Similar to the ideal of ‘The Little Engine That Could’, except with a much more vulgar and borderline offensive script; a nameless metal cover band who are stuck in their parent’s basement after years of practicing happen upon numerous events which lead them to actually following their dream of playing their music live at a heavy music festival, ‘Inferno Metal Festival’ to be more specific, in Norway. Sound familiar? Let this writer assure you, this is no fairytale, more-so a “hairytale”. This is as authentic as a modern heavy metal fiction film can be and the efforts put forward by writers Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren, as well as actors Johannes Holopainen, Antti Heikkinen, Samuli Jaski and Max Ovaska  is very accomplished. Continue reading

RED FANG, Drunk Mums, Dirty Pagans. Fowlers Live, Adelaide. 16-05-2018.

Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos Alex Kwong Photography.

If this event could be surmised in one phrase, the legend of Black Flag, part-time actor, writer, spoken word genius and prodigy of anything else which interests him, Henry Rollins captured this show’s essence with his quote: “Life is weird, great and dangerous”.

Adelaide quartet Dirty Pagans had the honour of opening the event and were hellbent on crafting a weird and wonderful statement about their art. In terms of the historical undulated road modern rock’n’roll has undergone for decades since its inception, this four-piece are on a mission to explore the majority of this genre’s pathway. Elements of southern rock, classical rock, thrash metal, hair metal, stoner rock and sludge rock were all combined to create a rather original sound. Featuring songs from their Dirty Pagans EP and recently released full-length VOLUME 1, Dirty Pagans left an imposing impression on the modest but very intrigued audience. It was slightly abnormal but on that same note, awe-inspiring also.

Continue reading

BRYAN GILES (RED FANG) Interview.

Interview Will Oakeshott.

Musicians expanding their horizons outside of their accomplished art-form has been a rather prevalent occurrence for quite some time. Whether film, television, fashion, business or any other avenue, it has been a movement that countless musicians have ventured toward with varying levels of success. For Oregon’s Stoner Metal band Red Fang, the quartet has somewhat followed suit by joining forces with Teutonic Wine Company, also from Portland, to create a European style red wine blend entitled “Red Fang Red”. As guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles explains, the scenario came together rather organically:

“The winery is called ‘Teutonic’ and they are a local Portland small winery and they are just really into heavy metal and making wine.” He describes relatively straightforward – “They contacted us to see if we wanted to make a wine with them which we were understandably interested in doing, even though I don’t really know much about wine, but it sounded like a fun experience. We did actually go pick grapes, bottled the wine, corked the wine and sorted the vines around the vineyard. Sadly though, we had to kill all the ladybugs.” Continue reading