High Desert Queen to Release Palm Reader May 31; “Ancient Aliens” Video Posted

High desert queen (photo by @staceylovett)

I’d put the sophomore full-length from Austin, Texas, heavy rockers High Desert Queen, titled Palm Reader, among the year’s most anticipated LPs quickly enough. The four-piece issued their debut, Secrets of the Black Moon (review here), through Ripple Music in 2021 and immediately set about maximizing its impact with stage work. Tours in the US and Europe featured stops throughout 2022 and 2023 at Truckfighters Fuzz Fest (review here), Desertfest in London and Berlin, Ruination Festival, Esbjerg Fuzztival and others, and they have kept a steady social presence as well, with frontman Ryan Garney booking tours and running Ripplefest Texas under the banner of Lick of My Spoon Promotions. They have done more to push themselves and heavy rock in the last three years than most, and on top of that, the first record laid out a desert-informed take on heavy that was rife with personality.

Ahead of returning to Europe in Spring 2023, they released the Turned to Stone Ch. 8: The Wake (review here) split LP with Albuquerque’s Blue Heron, and they’ll venture abroad again this summer as confirmed by appearances at the venerable Stoned From the Underground and Rock im Wald festivals slated among the tour dates below, following the regional — mostly Texas — stint they’ll do around Palm Reader‘s May 31 release on Magnetic Eye Records. No doubt more tour dates will follow, and suitably enough, they’ll perform at this year’s Ripplefest Texas as well, alongside DozerMars Red Sky and what’s taken shape as one of the strongest heavyfest lineups I’ve ever seen in the US. They might tour around that too, even though they’re from Austin. Some bands just keep busy.

But future tour plans are secondary to the album announcement and first track streaming of today. “Ancient Aliens” — if you, like me, can see the guy from the History Channel in your head right now, we’re probably also hearing it said with the same sense of wonder — opens Palm Reader by building up around its riff and pushing through a multifaceted but accessible groove with what feels like energy born of and born for the stage. If live considerations were a factor in the songwriting, fair enough. I get big C.O.C. vibes off the guitar tone, but it’s got a modern and less-Southern forward roll to go with its hook and ample proportion of sound. If Palm Reader isn’t already among your own most anticipated 2024 albums, by the time they’re done riding that nod it might be. And if you need any more display of charm or effort-at-engagement or whatever it might be to get on board, the “Ancient Aliens” video is — inevitably — a They Live parody.

Info from the PR wire:

high desert queen palm reader

HIGH DESERT QUEEN release first single ‘Ancient Aliens’ and details of new album “Palm Reader”!

Texas desert rockers HIGH DESERT QUEEN release the video clip ‘Ancient Aliens’ as the first heavy single taken from their forthcoming sophomore full-length “Palm Reader”, which has been slated for release on May 31 via Magnetic Eye Records.

On further news, HIGH DESERT QUEEN announce the first set of many planned live dates for 2024. Please see below for all currently confirmed shows.

‘Ancient Aliens’ is a tongue-in-cheek video take on John Carpenter’s cult movie “They Live” that illustrates the difficulties for musicians in dealing with shifty managers.

HIGH DESERT QUEEN comment: “Our first new single ‘Ancient Aliens’ was also the first song that we recorded for the new album”, guitarist Rusty Miller explains. “When we just returned home from our 2023 summer tour, we were all still a little beat up and road worn. At the same time, we were completely fired up to be in the studio. Playing shows every night for six weeks gave us exactly what we needed for the new album. Our engineer Casey Johns did a great job capturing the raw energy and dynamics of our band with this song. We recorded it live without a click track and no overdubs to make it sound just how we play it live on stage.”

1. Ancient Aliens
2. Death Perception
3. Head Honcho
4. Palm Reader
5. Time Waster
6. Tuesday Night Blues
7. Solar Rain

Guest musician
Emma Näslund (GAUPA) – vocals on ‘Death Perception’

Recorded by Casey Johns at Yellow Dog Studios, Wimberley, TX (US)
Mixed & Mastering by Karl Daniel Lidén at Studio Tri-Lamb, Solna (SE)

Cover art & album design by PabloRR (72826). Photo by @staceylovett

23 MAR 2024 Austin, TX (US) The Lost Well +The Obsessed +Howling Giant +Gozu
24 MAY 2024 Lafayette, LA (US) Freetown Boom Boom Room
25 MAY 2024 Houston, TX (US) White Oak Music Hall
26 MAY 2024 Arlington, TX (US) Division Brewery
30 MAY 2024 Austin, TX (US) The Far Out Lounge
31 MAY 2024 Bryan, TX (US) The 101
01 JUN 2024 San Antonio, TX (US) The Amp Room
02 JUN 2024 New Braunfels, TX (US) Guadalupe Brewery
13 JUL 2024 Erfurt (DE) Stoned from the Underground Festival
26 JUL 2024 Neuensee (DE) Rock im Wald Festival
21 SEP 2024 Austin, TX (US) Far Out Lounge, RippleFest Texas

Ryan Garney – vocals
Phil Hook – drums
Morgan Miller – bass
Rusty Miller – guitar



High Desert Queen, “Ancient Aliens” official video

High Desert Queen & Blue Heron, Turned to Stone Ch. 8: The Wake (2023)

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One Response to “High Desert Queen to Release Palm Reader May 31; “Ancient Aliens” Video Posted”

  1. Frank says:

    great song, can’t wait for the album to come out

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