Desertfest London 2024 Makes Second Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 1st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

The names here are really the thing. Suicidal Tendencies, Cancer Bats, Nightstalker, Ozric Tentacles, Mondo Generator, Sunnata, Kal-El, Psychlona, Kadabra, Saint Karloff, Ashenspire, WAKE, Bongripper, Gozer, Orme, Borehead, Sagan, Acid Throne — did I miss anybody? Hell, probably. Every year, Desertfest has a couple announcements like this where they add basically an entire festival to their festival and it’s always kind of staggering to consider the scope, never mind what Desertfest has become, particularly with London as an epicenter. One of these years I’ll get back over. It’s been too long.

Also, told you Psychlona had more news. They’ve still got more to come.

The latest word follows from the PR wire:

desertfest london 2024 second announce

Desertfest London welcomes Roundhouse headliners Suicidal Tendencies plus Ozric Tentacles, Cancer Bats, Bongripper and 15 more artists for 2024

Friday 17th May – Sunday 19th May 2024 | Weekend Tickets now on sale

Desertfest London proudly welcomes the legendary Suicidal Tendencies to their 2024 event as Roundhouse headliners. Celebrating 40 years since their genre-defying first album, prepare to have your mind Institutionalized! Whilst Desertfest remains synonymous with showcasing the best of stoner, doom and psych for over twelve years, Suicidal Tendencies’ headlining performance will add a new dimension to the festival, bridging the gap between the punk and metal scenes that have inspired countless bands worldwide.

Hailing from the sun-soaked streets of Venice, California, Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir helped shape a cultural landscape, whilst simultaneously pioneering a new genre. Taking the essence of skating, surfing and the Dogtown scene & infusing it with a unique style of hardcore punk. Their seamless un-apologetic musical blend, breaking of conventions and fearless take on challenging socials issues changed the landscape of heavy music forever. Suicidal Tendencies’ performance at Desertfest not only welcomes the band back to London for the first time in seven years, but marks a new point in the festival’s evolution as a celebration of underground counter-culture.

The icons keep rolling in as Ozric Tentacles join the bill, also celebrating a monumental 40 years, Ozrics’ unique lysergic soundscapes helped merge the worlds of psychedelia, progressive rock and dance music. Formed during a solstice at Stonehenge in 1983, Ozric Tentacles are true trailblazers – laying the tripped-out road which so many acts in the Desertfest-sphere now follow.

Heavy music’s hardest-working, and hardest-partying, road dogs Cancer Bats will up the ante with their rock’n’roll shenanigans as they bring the energy. Satan Worshipping Doom, three words that need no explanation to Desertfesters’ as Bongripper make their first appearance at the event since 2013. Plus, the prodigal son returns as Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator showcase their immense catalogue of desert-drenched tones.

Elsewhere the festival announces Greek stoner-Gods Nightstalker, avant-garde-jazz meets black-metal mania from Ashenspire, a spellbinding ritual from Sunnata and further melting-pot madness from crushing Canadian’s WAKE.

Additionally, Psychlona, Kal-El, Kadabra, Saint Karloff and Lord Elephant bring the grooves, whilst heaviness reigns with homegrown talent Gozer, Acid Throne & Orme. And finally rounding things off Desertfest warmly welcomes, Borehead & Sagan.

Weekend Tickets for the event are on sale now via with more artists, day splits & day tickets released in January.

Full line-up


Suicidal Tendencies, “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow”

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Review & Track Premiere: Oreyeon & Lord Elephant, Doom Sessions Vol. 8

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 23rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

oreyeon lord elephant doom sessions vol 8

On May 5, Italy’s Oreyeon and Lord Elephant will stand together for the latest installment of Heavy Psych Sounds‘ apparently-ongoing split series, Doom Sessions Vol. 8. The two outfits, from La Spezia and Florence, respectively, each contribute an original and a cover to the 32-minute long-player, arranging them such that Oreyeon‘s take on Slo Burn‘s “Wheel Fall” (premiering below) leads into the 10-minute “C10H12N2O” — the chemical formula for serotonin — on side A and Lord Elephant flip the procession, with their own 10-minute jam-piece “Twilight Reflexes” giving over to a take on Link Wray‘s 1958 instrumental single “Rumble,” which is one of those early-ish rock songs that, even if you don’t know where you know it from and can’t identify it by name, might have been taken in through general osmosis/residing on the same planet where it has proliferated for the last 65 years.

Either way, recognizable, and if Lord Elephant‘s stretching the two-minute Link Wray and the Wraymen original to just over eight minutes is an issue, well, you might as well stop reading now, because heavy jams are the order of the day on Doom Sessions Vol. 8, and while the series has in the past has featured the likes of Conan-(16)-TonsBongzillaGrimeDeadsmoke andother meaner-hitting bands, there is precedent for a bit of stylistic ranging as well, whether that’s Hippie Death CultHigh ReeperAcid Mammoth and 1782 or Cosmic Reaper, oreyeonso in addition to both being signed to Heavy Psych Sounds, neither Oreyeon nor Lord Elephant are out of place sound-wise.

If anything, both acts benefit from the concise showcase the split provides. For Oreyeon, it follows their mid-2022 LP, Equations for the Useless (review here); their third album overall and second since changing their name from the more-traditionally-spelled-but-easier-to-confuse-with-a-ton-of-other-bands Orion. They bite into “Wheel Fall” with marked gusto, mashing up the original Slo Burn demo that appeared on various versions of 1997’s Amusing the Amazing with the mellower break and solo from the same album’s “Muezli” before building back into the final chorus, benefitting from the double-guitar density of Andrea Ricci and Matteo Signanini and the outright essential shove of Pietro Virgilio‘s drumming as bassist Richard Silvaggio gracefully makes the vocals his own rather than attempting an impression of John Garcia, who fronted the initially-shortlived Slo Burn after his time in Kyuss.

It’s an in-genre dogwhistle, ‘a classic if you know it,’ and Oreyeon‘s steps to bring it into the context of their style pay off both within “Wheel Fall” itself and in the transition to “C10H12N2O,” which begins its procession with drifting guitar over a quieter low-end foundation, drums smoothly entering with a purpose not to shove but provide some grounding for what might otherwise simply float away, instrumentally-speaking. There’s a heavier drive that starts just past the 90-second mark, and it may be from this that the piece derives its title, since surely the brain is releasing some form or other of mood-altering chemical as the swaying movement plays out with sweet basslines coursing underneath. Whether it’s shiver-down-spine or hairs-standing-up, it’s affecting. They ride that part for a time, move into more of a solo in the middle, then drop the drums and go back not to the start but to standalone guitar, then bass, then keys/effects, before bursting back to life with a larger roll that serves as the apex, guitar and bass gradually fading as Virgilio holds on longer drumming, finally falling out just as “C10H12N2O” enters its 10th minute.

That especially-hypnotic finish gives Lord Elephant a suitable beginning point for the jazzy manner in which “Twilight Reflexes” unfurls itself, Edoardo de Nardi‘s bass doing repetitive runs while Tommaso Urzino‘s drums solidify and Leandro Gaccione makes ready to reveal the Earthless-style soloing set to top the next couple minutes, departing at around 4:10 while the bass holds and the drums dig deeper into their shuffle, only to return again with airier heavy-prog tonality as they build back up, arriving somewhat predictably but satisfyingly at another solo stretch. It’s not as long sustained — just enough to get the point across — before Lord Elephant blues-comedown to another pause, the bass introducing a start-stop progression at 6:25 that is the thread running along the consumingly heavy apex to come, growing slower as “Twilight Reflexes” enters its final minute, less gradual than were Oreyeon in their extended track’s ending, but with a cymbal wash and amp buzz that gives an organic band-in-room feel.

With its telltale guitar strums, “Rumble” hints toward surf but never goes full-Dick Dale, and feels like fair enough territory for Lord Elephant‘s fuzzy interpretation. They grow noisier as they move forward, cycling into a solo that moves around and between the underlying rhythm, meeting it here and departing again before disappearing as they pass the halfway point only to return with echoing-heavy-jam intent for a more languid solo. At 5:30, when they shift back to the song’s central proto-riff, the snare begs for complementary handclaps, and while they don’t come, the subsequent takeoff gives a more weighted impact to signal the ending soon to be take place. As they have since the outset of “Twilight Reflexes,” the three-piece flow easily into and through that heavy capstone part, mirroring the longer cut in a natural ending as well without actually repeating themselves.

Lord Elephant are the newer band here, with their 2021 debut album, Cosmic Awakening (review here) snagged for release last year by Heavy Psych Sounds, but both acts have plenty to offer in terms of the instrumental chemistry on which their material, original or otherwise, largely depends. Doom Sessions Vol. 8 is a bit of a flex on the part of the label showing off two of its up-and-coming outfits, but frankly, that’s what a release like this is for, and while this won’t go down in history as the most doomed of the Doom Sessions, it’s a chance for Oreyeon and Lord Elephant to shine, and neither of them lets the opportunity slip.

As noted, Oreyeon‘s “Wheel Fall” premieres below. More info follows from the PR wire, including the all-important preorder links in case you’d like to get the jump on the May 5 release date.

Please enjoy:

Oreyeon, “Wheel Fall” (Slo Burn cover) track premiere

WHEEL FALL is the second single taken from the upcoming DOOM SESSIONS VOL. VIII. The single is an OREYEON track.
The release will see the light May 5th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

“Wheel Fall is an obscure track from the coolest Kyuss related project ever, Slo Burn. This is our tribute to this short-lived band, we also included in this song, the solo section of Muezli from their amazing debut EP… enjoy it !”



Richard Silvaggio BASS / VOCALS
Andrea Ricci GUITAR
Matteo Signanini GUITAR
Pietro Virgilio DRUMS

Lord Elephant:
Leandro Gaccione GUITAR
Edoardo De Nardi BASS
Tommaso Urzino DRUMS

Oreyeon on Facebook

Oreyeon on Instagram

Oreyeon on Bandcamp

Lord Elephant on Facebook

Lord Elephant on Bandcamp

Lord Elephant on YouTube

Heavy Psych Sounds on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds on Instagram

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 92

Posted in Radio on September 2nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Two weeks ago I was at Psycho Las Vegas, and so didn’t get to post the playlist for episode 91. For posterity’s sake and because I plainly love looking at lists of band names, it’s below along with the playlist for the episode airing today, which is #92. The march to 100 continues.

The esteemed Dean Rispler (who also plays in Mighty High and a bunch of other bands) is in charge of putting the shows together on a practical level from the lists I send, and to him I extend my deepest appreciation. I’m constantly late. I suck at this in general, and worse, I know it. So yeah. Dean does a bit of hand-holding and I am thankful. He emailed me this week and asked if I was thinking yet about episode 100 and would I be doing anything special?

Well… yes. I have been. And I’d like to make it a blowout or some such, but you know what the truth is? I’m more about the work. When it comes to something like that, the most honest thing I feel like I can do is keep my head down, do another episode and then do one after that two weeks later. I’d rather feel good about a thing in myself and move on. I’m not sure I can get away with that. So maybe I’ll hit up Tommi Dozer and see if he wants to chat sometime in the next few weeks.

Thanks if you listen and thanks for reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 09.02.22 (VT = voice track)

Elephant Tree Aphotic Blues Elephant Tree
Might Abysses Abyss
Author & Punisher Misery Kruller
Lord Elephant Hunters of the Moon Cosmic Awakening
Swarm of the Lotus Snowbeast The Sirens of Silence
Big Business Heal the Weak The Beast You Are
The Otolith Sing No Coda Folium Limina
Elder Halcyon Omens
Gaerea Mantle Mirage
London Odense Ensemble Sojourner Jaiyede Sesssions Vol. 1
Northless What Must Be Done A Path Beyond Grief
Conan A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots Evidence of Immortality
Forlesen Strega Black Terrain

And #91, which was a pretty damn good show:

Dozer The Flood Beyond Colossal
Orange Goblin Blue Snow Time Travelling Blues
Monster Magnet King of Mars Dopes to Infinity
Red Fang Fonzi Scheme Arrows
Slift Citadel on a Satellite Ummon
Russian Circles Gnosis Gnosis
Faetooth Echolalia Remnants of the Vessel
Caustic Casanova Lodestar Glass Enclosed Nerve Center
Brant Bjork Trip on the Wine Bougainvillea Suite
Josiah Saltwater We Lay on Cold Stone
Blue Tree Monitor Sasquatch Cryptids
Torche Tarpit Carnivore In Return
Telekinetic Yeti Rogue Planet Primordial
Mezzoa Dunes of Mars Dunes of Mars
Thunderbird Divine Boote’s Void The Hand of Man
Omen Stones Burn Alive Omen Stones
1000mods Vidage Super Van Vacation
Truckfighters Con of Man Mania

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Sept. 16 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gmme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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Quarterly Review: Trigona, Blasting Rod, From Those Ashes, Hashishian, Above & Below, Lord Elephant, Dirty Shades, Venus Principle, Troy the Band, Mount Desert

Posted in Reviews on July 5th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Day seven of a Quarterly Review is pretty rarefied air, by which I mean it doesn’t happen that often. And even with 100 records in the span of these two weeks, I’ll never ever ever ever claim to approach being comprehensive, but the point is take it as a sign of just how much is out there right now. If you find it overwhelming, me too.

But think about our wretched species. What’s our redeeming factor? Treatment resistant bacteria? War? Yelling for more war? Economic disparity? Abortion rights? Art. Art’s it. Art and nothing.

So at least there’s a lot of art.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Trigona, Trigona

Trigona Trigona

With independent label distribution in the UK, US, Australia and Europe, Trigona‘s Trigona is about as spread out geographically as sonically. The Queensland, AUS-based instrumental solo outfit of Rob Shiels — guitar, bass, synth, drum programming, effects, noise, etc. — released the Meridian tape earlier in 2022 on Echodelick and I’m honestly not sure if this six-song self-titled is supposed to count as a debut full-length or what, expanded as it is from Trigona‘s 2021 EP of the same name, albeit remastered with a new track sequence and the eight-minute “Via Egnatia” tagged onto the end of side B to mirror side A’s eight-minute finale, “Rosatom.” Sweet toned progressivism and semi-krautrock bass meditation pervades, debut or not, as Shiels touches on more terrestrial songwriting in “Monk” only after “Shita Ue” has offered its uptempo, almost poppy except not at all pop take on space rock outwardness, a mirror itself somewhat for album opener “Von Graf,” while second cut “Nudler” spreads proggy guitar figures over a sunshiny movement, letting “Rosatom” handle the wash-conjuring. There’s a slowdown at the finish of “Via Egnatia,” its effect lessened perhaps by the programmed drums, but Trigona‘s Trigona is so much more about atmosphere than heft it feels silly to even mention. Debut or not, it is striking.

Trigona on Bandcamp

Weird Beard Records store

Ramble Records website

Echodelick Records website

Worst Bassist Records on Bandcamp


Blasting Rod, 月鏡 (Mirror Moon Ascending)

Blasting Rod Mirror Moon Ascending

Hells yeah J-psych. Nagoya-based three-piece Blasting Rod — guitarist/vocalist S. Shah (also electronics), bassist/guitarist Yoshihiro Yasui and drummer Chihiro (everybody also adds percussion) — already have a follow-up LP, Of Wild Hazel, on the way/streaming for the two-songer Mirror Moon Ascending, and that and some of their past work has aligned them with US-based Glory or Death Records, but if you’re looking to be introduced to their world of sometimes serene, sometimes madcap psychedelia, these two mono mixes by Eternal Elysium‘s Yukito Okazaki, with the drift and languid crash, far-back drums of “Mirror Moon Ascending” and the shaker-inclusive insistence of “Wheel Upon the Car of Dragonaut,” which turns its title into a multi-layered mantra, can be a decent place to start as a springboard into the band’s and S. Shah‘s sundry other projects. Their experimentalism doesn’t stop them from writing songs, at least not this time around, and it seems to drive aspects of what they do like mixing in mono in the first place, so there’s meta-screwing with form as well as get-weird-stay-weird heavy space rock push. After this, check out 2021’s III and then the new one. After that, you’re on your own. Good luck and have fun.

Blasting Rod on Facebook

Low&Slow.Disk on Facebook


From Those Ashes, Contagion

From Those Ashes Contagion

From Those Ashes, a double-guitar four-piece from Chicago, present four songs in Contagion of thrash-derived but ultimately mostly mid-tempo metal, vocalist/guitarist Aaron Pokoj (also production) leading the charge with Jose “Mop” Valles ripping solos for good measure and bassist Ryan Compton and drummer Omar “Pockets” Mombela holding together tight grooves amid the deathlier moments of the title-track. Pokoj‘s trades between harsh and clean vocals show a firm grasp of melody and arrangement, and though their lyrical perspective is disaffected until basically the last two lines of EP-closer “Light Breaks,” the aggression doesn’t necessarily trump craft, though “The Reset Button” moves through throwing elder-hardcore elbows and the first words shouted on opener “Devoid of Thought” are “fuck it.” Fair enough. The Iron Maiden-style opening of “Light Breaks” is a standout moment, though guitar antics aren’t by any means in short supply, but when From Those Ashes build their way into the song proper, the death-thrash onslaught is fervent right up to the end. And those last lines? “As light breaks through the shadow and gives way to life/Sustained emergence of the soul and the will to survive?” Brutally, righteously growled.

From Those Ashes on Facebook

From Those Ashes on Bandcamp


Hasishian, Hashishian

hasishian hasishian

Rarely does music itself sound so stoned. Across six tracks of bassy, at least partially Dune-referential — the hand-drummed “Shai Hulud,” etc. — meditative heavy, the anonymous outfit Hashishian from somewhere, sometime, convey a languid, loosely Middle Eastern-informed, vibe-dense aural weedianism. And much to their credit, “Mountain of Smoke” seems to live up to its name. Less so, perhaps, “Let Us Reason,” which is drawn out in such a way that the moderation implied, maybe with desperation, is inhaled like so much pine-smelling vapor. “Shai Hulud” is the longest cut, mostly instrumental, and might be as far out as Hashishian go, but even the twisting feedback and lead notes at the beginning of closer “Nazareth” feel like a heavy-eyelidded march toward the riff-fill’d land, never mind the bass-led procession of the song itself, manifesting the ethic of opener “Onward” that seems to be the mentality of the 39-minute self-titled as a whole. It is molten in a way not much can claim to be, more patient than the most patient person you know, and seems to find way to make even the tolling bell of the penultimate “High Chief” a drone. Definitely post-Om in sound, Hashishian‘s Hashishian is a sprawl of sand waiting to engulf you. And to whoever is playing this bass, thank you.

Hashishian on Bandcamp

Herby Records on Bandcamp


Above & Below, Suffer Decay Alone

Above and Below Suffer Decay Alone

Ohio-based industrialists Above & Below — primarily Plaguewielder‘s Bryce Seditz on vocals, guitar, synth, programming with Chrome WavesJeff Wilson adding bass, noise, production and a release through his Disorder Recordings imprint — make their debut with the seven tracks/27 minutes of Suffer Decay Alone, which digs into modern stylistic features like the weighted tonality of the guitar in “Isolate” and the screams on top, some The Downward Spiraling atmosphere given a boost in rhythm from the dense machine churn of Author & Punisher there and on the prior “Hope,” while “Rust” approaches danceable but for all that screaming. “Dead” sounds like something Gnaw might come up with, but the cold realization of craft in “Tear” feels like a signpost telling the project where it wants to head, and the same applies to the 3Teeth-style horror noise of “Covered.” I don’t know which impulse will win out, songwriting or destructive noise, and I’m not sure it needs to be one or the other, but Suffer Decay Alone sets out with a duly harsh mentality and sounds to match. If this is Rust Belt fuckall circa 2022, I’m on board.

Above & Below on Facebook

Disorder Recordings website


Lord Elephant, Cosmic Awakening

Lord Elephant Cosmic Awakening

Shades of Earthless‘ more meandering stretches pervade “Cosmic Awakening Pt. I – Forsaken Slumber,” the opener of Lord Elephant‘s Heavy Psych Sounds debut, Cosmic Awakening, and those are purposefully brushed away as “Cosmic Awakening Pt. II – First Radiation” brings on more straight-ahead instrumental shove. The Florence, Italy, trio issued the eight-track album independently in 2021 and their being on the label they are earns them a certain amount of trust before one even listens, but the vibe throughout the outing’s 43 minutes is a don’t-worry-we-know-what-we’re-doing blend of psychedelia and underlying tonal heft. Bass. Tone. Guitar. Tone. Drums. On point. There’s nothing overly fancy about it and there doesn’t need to be as “Raktabija” is a rush and a blast at once, “Covered in Earth’s Blood” crunches and builds and builds and crunches again and “Stellar Cloud” has enough low end to make you feel funny for staring. I wouldn’t put it past them to make friends with an organist at some point, but they’ve got everything they need for right now even without vocals, and the combination of weight and breadth is effectively conveyed from front to back, with closer “Secreteternal” executing a final slowdown until it just seems to come apart. Right on.

Lord Elephant on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Dirty Shades, Lift Off

Dirty Shades Lift Off

French double-guitar four-piece Dirty Shades released their debut EP in March 2020, so yeah, there goes that. Lift Off is the four-song follow-up short release, tagged as a ‘live session,’ and given the organic vibe of the performances, I’m inclined to believe it. Vocalist/guitarist Anouk Degrande leads the way as “Dazed” picks up in winding style from the more ethereal opening across the two-minute “Ignition,” her voice reminding in places of No Doubt-era Gwen Stefani, albeit in a much different context. Fellow guitarist Nathan Mimeau provides backing for the chorus, ditto bassist Martin Degrande, and drummer Mathurin Robart is charged with keeping the patterns together behind the various turns in volume and intensity through “Dazed” and the subsequent “Running for Your Life,” which is full, spaced and surprisingly heavy by the time its five minutes are done but is still somehow more about the trip getting there. And a shorter take on now-closer “Trainwreck” appeared on 2020’s Specific Impulse, but its added dreaminess serves it well. Jazzy in spots and showing the band still seeking their stylistic niche, Lift Off may well prove to be the foundation from which the band launches.

Dirty Shades on Facebook

Dirty Shades webstore


Venus Principle, Stand in Your Light

Venus Principle Stand in Your Light

Best case scenario when a band revamps its lineup is that listeners get another killer band out of it. With that, bid hello to Venus Principle‘s debut album, Stand in Your Light. With vocalist/guitarist Daniel Änghede (also Astroqueen), pianist/vocalist Daisy Chapman, guitarist/keyboardist Jonas Stålhammar (also At the Gates), keyboardist/backing vocalist Mark Furnevall and drummer Ben Wilsker all having been in Crippled Black Phoenix — only bassist Pontus Blom would seem not to be an alumnus — this more recent project perhaps unsurprisingly digs into a deeply, richly melodic, expanded-definition-of-heavy post-rock. The songs across the 68-minute 2LP, which starts with its longest track (immediate points) in the 10:34 “Rebel Drones,” are afraid neither to be loud nor minimal, and standout moments like “Shut it Down” or the Mellotron into absolute-melody-wash of “Sanctuary” bear out that vibe as a reminder of the gorgeousness that can come from emotions normally thought negative. The promo text for this record says it, “provides balm for the wound that the split of ANATHEMA has caused,” and that’s a lofty claim from where I sit, but you know, it’s a start, and clearly a lineup capable of a certain kind of magic that they represent well here.

Venus Principle website

Prophecy Productions store


Troy the Band, The Blissful Unknown

troy the band the blissful unknown

One doesn’t imagine it’s easy to be a new band in London at this point, with the seen-it-all-plus-we’re-all-in-like-10-bands-ourselves crowd and so many acts in and around the sphere of Desertfest, etc. — or maybe I’m way off and the community is amazing; I honestly don’t know — but Troy the Band distinguish themselves through the pendulum swing in their debut EP, The Blissful Unknown, guitars and bass both fuzzed to and beyond the gills and just a bit showy in “Michael” to give the outing a hint of strut despite its generally laid back attitude. Opener “I Wage a War” is the shortest inclusion by far on the 26-minute offering, and it’s a sprint compared to the more plodding, drone-hum-backed “Less Than Nothing,” and after “Michael” chugs and sways to its noisy finish, the title-track blows it all out to end off by underscoring the encouragingly atmospheric impression made by the songs prior, loose-sounding but not at all sloppy and occupying an expanse that comes across like it only wants to grow bigger. Here’s hoping it does exactly that. In the meantime, even in England’s green, pleasant and perpetually-full-of-riffs land, Troy the Band carve a fascinating place for themselves between various microgenres, psychedelic without being carried off by self-indulgence.

Troy the Band on Facebook

Troy the Band on Bandcamp


Mount Desert, Fear the Heart

Mount Desert Fear The Heart

Oakland, California’s Mount Desert make an awaited full-length debut with Fear the Heart a full seven years after releasing their self-titled two-songer (review here), both cuts from which feature on the record. Hey, life happens. I get that. And if the tradeoff for not putting out two or three records in the interim is the airy float of guitar throughout and the subtle-then-not-so-subtle build in “Semper Virens,” I’ll take it. Who the hell needs more records when you can have one that speaks to your unconscious like that? In any case, Fear the Heart is striking in more than just its moments of culmination, “Blue Madonna” and “New Fire” at the outset casting a fluidity that “The River I” and “The River II” perhaps unsurprisingly further even as they find their own paths into the second half of the record. “The Wail” closes with nighttime howls only after “Fear the Heart” — one of the two from the first outing — and the aforementioned “Semper Virens” have their say in progressive guitar and weighted psychedelicraft, earthbound thanks to vocal soul and ‘them drums tho,’ and especially as a debut, and one apparently a while in the making, Mount Desert‘s first LP justifies all that hype from more than half a decade and 15 lifetimes ago. They’re a band with something to say aesthetically and in songwriting. I hope they continue to move forward.

Mount Desert on Facebook

Mount Desert on Bandcamp


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Lord Elephant Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Lest a day should go by without some sort of news from Italy’s Heavy Psych Sounds, word comes down the PR wire that the kingpin label has snagged countrymen rockers Lord Elephant for the release of their debut album. The Florentine trio reportedly had a record out last year called Cosmic Awakening, and as that’s off their Bandcamp, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that turns out to be what Heavy Psych Sounds is pre-hyping with the signing announcement here, but you never really know until you get there, I guess.

In any case, a new band — even one that’s been around for six years — getting picked up by this label is legit news, even with the preorders and album details a week away. They join other recent signees ŞTIU NU ŞTIU (whose album info I still need to post) and Somnus Throne, whose new record rules, and there’s plenty of other good company to keep besides. Cheers to the band.

Words in blue follow:

Lord Elephant

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS signed the heavy-psych rockers LORD ELEPHANT for the new album // presale + first track premiere May 19th !!!

We are so stoked to announce that the heavy-psych rockers LORD ELEPHANT has signed a worldwide deal with Heavy Psych Sounds for their new album !!!

PRESALE + first track premiere: MAY 19th


“Lord Elephant and Heavy Psych Sounds is finally a thing! We are stoked to be part of this mighty label, and we want to celebrate the demon pact with the dirtiest and wildest rock’n’roll !!”


Lord Elephant was raised by Edoardo and Leandro in 2016, after the split of their previous “napalm blues” band Random’N’Roll and the entry of Tommaso Urzino behind the drum kit. With diversified and complementary experiences, the trio melt its passion for blues, stoner, fuzzy and improvised music into a personal journey of acid psychedelia, graced with heaviness and tasty riffs as well. After almost five years in the work, the DEBUT ALBUM seals the final result of the long road made by Lord Elephant in their musical research, finding in Heavy Psych Sound Records the best possible partner to expand their sound as far as they can!

Leandro Gaccione – Guitars
Edoardo De Nardi – Bass
Tommaso Urzino – Drums

Lord Elephant, 2016 SAFFA Session

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