Planet Desert Rock Weekend V Adds Fireball Ministry, Valley of the Sun, MR.BISON and Sons of Arrakis

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

planet desert rock weekend v banner

After a compelling first announcement two weeks ago that put Washington heavy rock institution Mos Generator atop a bill with six other outfits curated from among Europe and the UK’s ever-crowded underground — JIRMSamavayo, Sergeant ThunderhoofOmega Sun, and Fire Down Below — the Las Vegas-based festival Planet Desert Rock Weekend V offers four new names today with a similarly curated feel. California’s Fireball Ministry, Ohio’s Valley of the Sun (returning), Canadian upstarts Sons of Arrakis and Italian cosmic rockers MR.BISON (also returning) are the new additions to the lineup, and each brings something specific of their own to the mix for the three-dayer set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2025.

And yeah, that’s a ways off, but if you, like me, don’t actually live in Vegas, it’s an opportunity to make your travel plans early. As the city has never been a ‘scene’ hotbed for heavy fare — of course there are good bands who’ve come from there; that’s true of most of the planet — there’s no question Planet Desert Rock Weekend is positioning itself as a destination festival, and letting you book a flight before they’re even more outlandish than they are now is part of that. Not that I was just looking at airfare prices or anything, mind you. Because I absolutely was.

There were eight bands left after the first reveal, and this, as noted, adds four, so I count four more names to come, give or take, sometime between now and next January. I’m not sure how much more one could reasonably ask beyond what’s already being served here, but golly it’s fun to daydream.

From fest director John Gist, via the PR wire:

planet desert rock weekend v second announce poster

Planet Desert Rock Weekend V — Jan. 30 – Feb. 1


FB event:

Vegas Rock Revolution and Planet Desert Rock Weekend are proud to announce the next 4 bands for PDRW V.  We bring back two alumni bands in Valley of the Sun and Mr. Bison, a longtime legacy band Fireball Ministry and rising star with Sons of Arrakis coming to Vegas for a fun filled weekend of heavy rock, friends and a cool environment that is comfortable. PDRW is designed to give you your mornings and afternoons to enjoy Vegas!

Fireball Ministry/ Los Angeles

Rising from quietly smoldering for a number of years we are honored to have Fireball Ministry be a part of PDRW.  This is a pure legacy band that has been rocking the scene since 1999 and have shared the stage with the likes of Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Judas Priest,  Slayer, Danzig, Anthrax, Motörhead and many others.  Recently it was announced Ripple Music will be reissuing their catalog.

Valley of the Sun/ Cincinnati

Super pumped to have Valley of the Sun return to Planet Desert Rock Weekend after performing at the inaugural one. Led by frontman Ryan Ferrier they deliver straight heavy rocking desert rock tinged stuff that sticks in your head. Their recently released album on Ripple Music landed close to the top of Vegas Rock Revolution’s top albums of the year.

Mr. Bison/ Italy

Mr. Bison has been one busy band since appearing at Planet Desert Rock Weekend II. Their latest album “Echoes of the Universe” has made an amazing splash in 2024 including landing #2 on the Doom Charts for February. Mr. Bison have continued to evolve and challenge themselves including adding a new member who is a multi instrumentalist. We can’t wait to have them back and hear the new stuff live! Mr. Bison is part of the Heavy Psych Sounds label.

Sons of Arrakis/ Montreal

Early on Vegas Rock Revolution has been touting and working with Sons of Arrakis and after hoping to have them as part of PDRW IV, we are excited to have them for 2025!  Their sound is an outstanding blend of heavy rock/ heavy psych/ progressive/ stoner with a backdrop of being a Dune themed band. Their debut album ended #2 for 2022 on the VRR end of the year list right behind PDRW alumni Freedom Hawk (2). Their album landed #1 on Doom Charts for July 2022 and #8 overall for the year.  SOA is currently finishing up their 2nd album which will be released on Black Throne Productions.

Planet Desert Rock Weekend V preview playlist

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Quarterly Review: Megaton Leviathan, Merlin, Stonerhenge, Guiltless, MR.BISON, Slump & At War With the Sun, Leather Lung, Citrus Citrus, Troubled Sleep, Observers

Posted in Reviews on March 1st, 2024 by JJ Koczan


So this is it, but before we — you and I, not at the same time but together nonetheless — dive into the final 10 records of this well-still-basically-winter-but-almost-spring-and-god-damn-I-wish-winter-was-over Quarterly Review, how about a big, deep breath, huh? There. In occupational therapy and other teach-you-how-to-keep-your-shit-together circles, deep breathing is spoken of like it’s a magic secret invented in 1999, and you know what, I think it was. That shit definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid. Can be helpful though, sometimes, if you need just to pause for a second, literally a second, and stop that rush in your brain.

Or my brain. Because I’m definitely talking about me and I’ve come to understand in time not everyone’s operates like mine, even aside from whatever I’ve got going on neurologically, sensorially, emotionally or in terms of mental health. Ups and downs to that, as regards human experience. There are a great many things that I’m useless at. This is what I can do, so I’m doing it. Put your head down, keep working. I can do that. 10 records left? Easy. You might say I did the same thing yesterday, and that was already my busiest day, so this is gravy. And gravy, in its various contexts, textures, tastes, and delivery modes, is delicious. I hope you heard something new this week that you enjoyed. If not yet, there’s still hope.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Megaton Leviathan, Silver Tears

Megaton Leviathan Silver Tears

I’ll confess that when I held this spot for groundfloor now-Asoria, Oregon, dronegazers Megaton Leviathan, I was thinking of their Dec. 2023 instrumental album, Magick Helmet, with its expansive and noisy odes to outsider experimentalism of yore, but then founding principal Andrew James Costa Reuscher (vocals, guitars, synth, bass, etc.) announced a new lineup with the rhythm section of Alex Wynn (bass) and Tory Chappell (drums) and unveiled “Silver Tears” as the first offering from this new incarnation of the band, and its patient, swirling march and meditative overtones wouldn’t be ignored, however otherwise behind I might be. Next to Magick Helmet, “Silver Tears” is downright straightforward in its four-plus minutes, strong in its conveyance of an atmosphere that’s molten and maybe trying to get lost in its own trance a bit, which is fair enough for the hypnotic cast of the song’s ending. The lesson, as ever with Megaton Leviathan, is that you can’t predict what they’ll do next, and that’s been the case since their start over 15 years ago. One assumes the new lineup will play live and that Reuscher will keep pushing into the ether. Beyond that, they could head anywhere and not find a wrong direction.

Megaton Leviathan on Facebook

Megaton Leviathan on Instagram

Merlin, Grind House

merlin grind house

They put their own spin on it, of course, but there’s love at heart in Merlin‘s take on the classic “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” jingle that serves as the centerpiece of Grind House, and indeed, the seven-song late-2023 long-player unfolds as an intentional cinematic tribute, with “Feature Presentation” bringing the lights down with some funkier elevator vibes before “The Revenger” invents an ’80s movie with its hook alone, “Master Thief ’77” offers precisely the action-packed bassline and wah you would hope, “Endless Calamity” horror-soundtracks with keyboard, “Blood Money” goes west with due Dollars Trilogy flourish, and the 12-minute “Grindhouse,” which culls together pieces of all of the above — “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” included — and adds a voiceover, which even though it doesn’t start with “In a world…” sets its narrative forth with the verve of coming attractions, semi-over-the-top and thus right on for where Merlin have always resided. Interpreting movie music, soundtracks and the incidental sounds of the theater experience, isn’t by any means the least intuitive leap the Kansas City four-piece could make, and the ease with which they swap one style for another underscores how multifaceted their sound can be while remaining their own. If you get it, you’ll get it.

Merlin on Facebook

Merlin on Instagram

Stonerhenge, Gemini Twins

stonerhenge gemini twins

After what seem to have been a couple more group-oriented full-lengths and an initial solo EP, Minsk-based heavy rockers Stonerhenge seem to have settled around the songwriting of multi-instrumentalist Serge “Skrypa” Skrypničenka. The self-released Gemini Twins is the third long-player from the mostly-instrumental Belarusian project, though the early 10-minute cut “The Story of Captain Glosster” proves crucial for the spoken word telling its titular tale, which ties into the narrative derived Gemini myth and the notion of love as bringing two halves of one whole person together, and there are other vocalizations in “Time Loop” and “Hypersleep,” the second half of “Starship Troopers,” and so on, so the songs aren’t without a human presence tying them together as they range in open space. This is doubly fortunate, as Skrypničenka embarks on movements of clear-eyed, guitar-led progressive heavy exploration, touching on psychedelia without getting too caught up in effects, too tricky in production, or too far removed from the rhythm of the flowing “Solstice” or the turns “Over the Mountain” makes en route its ah-here-we-are apex. Not without its proggy indulgences, the eight-song/46-minute collection rounds out with “Fugit Irreparable Tempus,” which in drawing a complete linear build across its five minutes from clean tone to a distorted finish, highlights the notion of a plot unfolding.

Stonerhenge on Facebook

Stonerhenge on Instagram

Guiltless, Thorns


Guiltless make their debut with the four songs of Thorns on Neurot Recordings, following on in some ways from where guitarist, vocalist, noisemaker and apparent-spearhead Josh Graham (also ex-Battle of Mice, Red Sparowes, Neurosis visuals, etc.) and guitarist/more-noisemaker Dan Hawkins left off in A Storm of Light, in this case recording remotely and reincorporating drummer Billy Graves (also Generation of Vipers) and bringing in bassist Sacha Dunable, best known for his work in Intronaut and for founding Dunable Guitars. Gruff in the delivery vocally and otherwise, and suitably post-apocalyptic in its point of view, “All We Destroy” rumbles its assessment after “Devour-Collide” lays out the crunching tonal foundation and begins to expand outward therefrom, with “Dead Eye” seeming to hit that much harder as it rolls its wall o’ low end over a detritus-strewn landscape no more peaceful in its end than its beginning, with subsequent closer “In Radiant Glow” more malleable in tempo before seeming to pull itself apart lurching to the finish. I’d say I hope our species ultimately fares a bit better than Thorns portrays, but I have to acknowledge that there’s not much empirical evidence to base that on. Guiltless play these songs like an indictment.

Guiltless on Facebook

Neurot Recordings website

MR.BISON, Echoes From the Universe

mr.bison echoes from the universe

The latest check-in from the dimension of Italian four-piece MR.BISON, Echoes From the Universe is the band’s most realized work to-date. It’s either their third LP or their fifth, depending on what counts as what, but where it sits in the discography is second to how much the effort stands out generally. Fostering a bright, lush sound distinguished through vocal harmonies and arrangement depth, the seven-song collection showcases the swath of elements that, at this point, has transcended its influence and genuinely found a place of its own. Space rock, Elderian prog, classic harmonized melody, and immediate charge in “The Child of the Night Sky” unfold to acoustics kept going amid dramatic crashes and the melodic roll of “Collision,” with sepia nostalgia creeping into the later lines of “Dead in the Eye” as the guitar becomes more expansive, only to be grounded by the purposeful repetitions of “Fragments” with the last-minute surge ending side A to let “The Promise” fade in with bells like a morning shimmer before exploring a cosmic breadth; it and the also-seven-minute “The Veil” serving as complement and contrast with the latter’s more terrestrial swing early resolving in a an ethereal wash to which “Staring at the Sun,” the finale, could just as easily be referring as to its own path of tension and release. I’ve written about the album a couple times already, but I wanted to put it here too, pretty much just to say don’t be surprised when you see it on my year-end list.

MR.BISON on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Slump & At War With the Sun, SP/LIT

slump at war with the sun split

You’d figure with the slash in its title, the split release pairing UK sludge upstarts At War With the Sun and Slump, who are punk-prone on “Dust” and follow the riff on “Kneel” to a place much more metal, would break down into two sides between ‘SP’ and ‘LIT,’ but I’m not sure either At War With the Sun‘s “The Garden” (9:54) or the two Slump inclusions, which are three and seven minutes, respectively, could fit on a 7″ side. Need a bigger platter, and fair enough for holding the post-Eyehategod disillusioned barks of “The Garden” and the slogging downer groove they ride, or the way Slump‘s two songs unite around more open verses, the guitar dropping out in the strut of “Dust” and giving space to vocals in “Kneel,” even as each cut works toward its own ends stylistically. The mix on Slump‘s material is more in-your-face where At War With the Sun cast an introverted feel, but you want to take the central message as ‘Don’t worry, England’s still miserable,’ and keep an eye to see where both bands go from here as they continue to develop their approaches, I don’t think anyone’ll tell you you’re doing it wrong.

At War With the Sun on Facebook

At War With the Sun on Bandcamp

Slump on Facebook

Slump on Bandcamp

Leather Lung, Graveside Grin

leather lung graveside grin

They know it’s gonna get brutal, the listener knows it’s gonna get brutal, and Massachusetts riff rollers Leather Lung don’t waste time in getting down to business on Graveside Grin, their awaited, middle-fingers-raised debut full-length on Magnetic Eye Records. An established live act in the Northeastern US with a sound culled from the seemingly disparate ends of sludge and party rock — could they be the next-gen inheritors of Weedeater‘s ‘ I don’t know how this is a good time but it is’ character? time will tell — the 40-minute 11-songer doesn’t dwell long in any one track, instead building momentum over a succession of pummelers on either side of the also-pummeling “Macrodose Interlude” until “Raised Me Rowdy,” which just might be an anthem, if a twisted one, fades to its finish. I’ve never been and will never be cool enough for this kind of party, but Leather Lung‘s innovation in bringing fun to extreme sounds and their ability to be catchy and caustic at the same time isn’t something to ignore. The time they’ve put in on EPs and touring shows in the purpose and intensity with which they execute “Empty Bottle Boogie” or the modern-metal guitar contortions of “Guilty Pleasure,” but they are firm in their purpose of engaging their audience on their own level, and accessible in that regard. And as raucous as they get, they’re never actually out of control. That’s what makes them truly dangerous.

Leather Lung on Facebook

Magnetic Eye Records store

Citrus Citrus, Albedo Massima

citrus citrus albedo massima

A new(-ish) band releasing their first album through Sulatron Records would be notable enough, but Italy’s Citrus Citrus answer that significant endorsement with scope on Dec. 2023’s Albedo Massima, veering into and out of acid-laced traditions in what feels like a pursuit, like each song has a goal it’s chasing whether or not the band knew that when they started jamming. Drift and percussive intrigue mark the outset with “Sunday Morning in the Sun,” which lets “Lost It” surprise as it shifts momentarily into fuzzier, Colour Haze-y heavy psych as part of a series of tradeoffs that emerge, a chorus finish emphasizing structure. The Mediterranean twists of “Fantachimera” become explosively heavy, and that theme continues in the end of “Red Stone Seeds” after that centerpiece’s blown out experimental verses, keyboard drift building to heft that would surprise if not for “Lost It” earlier, while “Sleeping Giant” eschews that kind of tonal largesse for a synthier wash before “Frozen\Sun” creates and fills its own mellow and melancholy reaches. All the while, a pointedly organic production gives the band pockets to weave through dynamically, and melody abides. Not at all inactive, or actually that mellow, Albedo Massima resonates with the feel of an adventure just beginning. Here’s looking forward.

Citrus Citrus on Instagram

Sulatron Records webstore

Troubled Sleep, A Trip Around the Sun & Solitary Man

troubled sleep a trip around the sun

Two initial tracks from Swedish newcomers Troubled Sleep, released as separate standalone singles and coupled together here because I can, “A Trip Around the Sun” and “Solitary Man” show a penchant for songwriting in a desert-style sphere, the former coming across as speaking to Kyuss-esque traditionalism while “Solitary Man” pushes a little further into classic heavy and more complex melodies while keeping a bounce that aligns to genre. Both are strikingly cohesive in their course and professional in their production, and while the band has yet to let much be known about their overarching intentions, whether they’re working toward an album or what, they sound like they most definitely could be, and I’ll just be honest and say that’s a record I’ll probably want to hear considering the surety with which “A Trip Around the Sun” and “Solitary Man” are brought to life. I’m not about to tell you they’re revolutionizing desert rock or heavy rock more broadly, but songs this solid don’t usually happen by accident, and Troubled Sleep sound like they know where they’re headed, even if the listener doesn’t yet. The word is potential and the tracks are positively littered with it.

Troubled Sleep on Facebook

Troubled Sleep on Bandcamp

Observers, The Age of the Machine Entities

observers the age of the machine entities

I’m not sure how the double-kick intensity and progressive metal drive translates to the stately-paced, long-shots-of-things-floating-in-space of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Observers‘ debut, The Age of the Machine Entities, is sweeping enough to bridge cynical headscratching. And of course there were the whole lightspeed freakout and we-invented-murder parts of Arthur C. Clarke’s narrative as well, so there’s room for All India Radio‘s Martin Kennedy, joined by bassist Rich Gray, drummer Chris Bohm and their included host of guests to conjure the melodic wash of “Strange and Beautiful” after the blasting declarations of “Into the Eye” at the start, with “Pod Bay Doors” interpreting that crucial scene in the film through manipulated sampling (not exclusive to it), and the 11-minute “Metaphor” unfurls a subtly-moving, flute-featuring ambience ahead of the pair “The Star Child” and “The Narrow Way Part II” wrap by realigning around the project’s metallic foundation, which brings fresh perspective to a familiar subject in the realm of science fiction.

Observers on Facebook

Observers on Bandcamp

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MR.BISON Announce European Tour; Echoes From the Universe Out Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


All-caps Italian psychthrusters MR.BISON have announced a European tour supporting their new album, Echoes of the Universe. And I’ve got a slot saved for that record — which was announced here with a track premiere, as sometimes happens — in the next Quarterly Review, which kicks off in about a week, but it’s out today on Heavy Psych Sounds, and considering the spaces the four-piece traverse within its component songs, the richness of the flow they conjure and the classic-rooted-but-forward-looking mindset under which they seem to operate, basking in bright melodies and swinging groove set to evocative purpose and willing to dive into ethereal headspinning, as later cut “The Promise” demonstrates, without losing track of the audience’s place in the song, its ringing bells and softer accompanying guitar a sanctuary before the sweep of the next chorus.

If I keep going I’m just gonna review the thing — sometimes I need to stop myself, especially if I’m listening to an album as I am this one now; it’s just how my brain is trained to work at this point — so I’ll stop myself and say that it’s great MR.BISON are getting out to herald Echoes of the Universe because I think it’s a worthy cause. Note the open slot March 18 in Germany if you can help out, and that the actual tour picks up in March and spreads across April and May and into June — obviously there are breaks in there — with appearances set for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in Italy and Switzerland, as well as Maximum Festival and Space Goat Fest in Italy along with copious club shows.

June’s a ways out, so don’t be surprised if more shows are added around that trip to Switzerland as well. Especially after more people hear the record, which, again, is out today. If you’ve got ears to dig it, it’s at the bottom of this post.

From the PR wire:

mr.bison euro tour

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking to announce MR.BISON – Echoes From The Universe EUROPEAN TOUR !!!

Our beloved psychedelic prog rockerz MR.BISON will tour Europe presenting their latest album Echoes From The Universe !!!

*** MR.BISON – Echoes From The Universe EUROPEAN TOUR ***
16th February / EXWide Pisa (IT) – Release Party
17th February / Bloom Mezzago -MB (IT) – Release Party
14th March / Channel Zero – Lubjana (SLO)
15th March / Mocvara – Zagreb (HR)
16th March / Music House – Graz (A)
17th March / Schokofabrik – Bayreuth (DE)
18th March / *** OPEN SLOT *** GERMANY
19th March / Black Label – Leipzig (DE)
20th March / Stereowonderland – Cologne (DE)
21th March / Extrablues Bar – Belefield (DE)
22th March / Waldmeister – Solingen (DE)
23th March / Ruefetto – Freibourg (DE)
21th April / Space Goat Fest – CPA – Firenze (IT)
26th April / Maximum Fest – ZeroBranco -TV (IT)
27th April / Verona – TBA (IT)
03th May / Bocciodromo – Vicenza (IT)
04th May / HPS Fest – Bologna Trieste (IT)
05th May / HPS Fest – Bologna Trieste (IT)
11th May / Blah Blah – Torino (IT)
17th May / Le Bout du Monde – Vevey (CH)
18th May / Durrorsdorf – TBA (DE)
07th June / HPS Fest – Martigny Winthertur (CH)
08th June / HPS Fest – Martigny Winterthur (CH)

Matteo Barsacchi (Guitar, Bass, Synth)
Matteo Sciocchetto(Guitar, Bass, Voice)
Lorenzo Salvadori (Drum)
Davide Salvadori (Acoustic Guitars, Synth, Hammond, Mellotron, Bass)

MR.BISON, Echoes From the Universe (2024)

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Italy 2024 Announces First Bands

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Okeydokey, what do we learn here? Bongzilla will be in Europe this Spring, and Mondo Generator will be out to follow up on Nick Oliveri‘s winter solo tour, and Kadabra will go supporting their most excellent 2023 outing, Umbra (review here), though that was already apparent from the first Desertfest London announce. Along with MR.BISON, the esteemed Ufomammut — who’ll have a new LP out sometime in 2024, allegedly — Greek mainstays Nightstalker and upstarts 1782, speedrockers Tankzilla and punkers The Clamps, that’s the bill as it stands that will swap acts back and forth across two nights in Bologna and Trieste next May for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Italy 2024.

This is not the end of the announcements, of course, but it’s a rousing start as the Italian label and booking agency continues to branch out to new places. You’ll note Trieste is home for Rocket Panda Management, who are involved here and also behind the StonerKras Fest that’s taken place the last couple of years later in the summer. I assume that’s still happening too, and will do so until I hear or see otherwise.

I don’t have numbers on the site’s readership in Bologna or Trieste, but I think these things are relevant anyway exactly because of the above: they show you who’s going to be where when. And it gives me an excuse to post the Kadabra record again. Double-win.

From the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds italy 2024 lineups

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST ITALY 2024 Bologna & Trieste – TICKETS PRESALE + FIRST BANDS !!!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking will smash Bologna and for the first time Trieste with their highly acclaimed mini festival-series, the HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST!

In cooperation with Freakout Club and Rocket Panda Management, today Heavy Psych Sounds has announced the first confirmed bands + TICKETS PRESALE for the upcoming HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST ITALY 2024 !!!

The HPS Fest Italy will be taking place 3rd and 4th of May at the Teatro Miela in Trieste and 4th and 5th of May at the TPO Club in Bologna !!!


@ TPO, Bologna // 4th and 5th May 2024

@ Teatro Miela, Trieste // 3rd and 4th May 2024

+ more TBA



Mondo Generator, We Stand Against You (2023)

Kadabra, Umbra (2023)

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MR.BISON Premiere “The Child of the Night Sky”; Echoes From the Universe Out Feb. 16

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Italian heavy psych rockers MR.BISON will release their new album, Echoes From the Universe, through Heavy Psych Sounds on Feb. 16. The Tuscany-based four-piece were announced as having signed to the imprint last week, and today brings preorders and the first song premiere — LP-opener “The Child of the Night Sky” — which is streaming for your pleasure under this text.

Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the first time humans heard the echo of the Big Bang in cosmic background radiation. MR.BISON, working more on the temporal than the cosmic end of spacetime for this third full-length follow-up to 2020’s Seaward (review here) and their split with Spacetrucker (review here), would seem to use the universe itself as a means of exploring notions beyond linear time, ideas from myth and science fiction combining to give a thematic heart to the proceedings. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but “The Child of the Night Sky” is way tripped out, and if you thought the band — whose moniker you’ve probably seen stylized as Mr. Bison; they reportedly prefer the caps-no-space version — were flexible as they hit into Seaward after 2018’s Holy Oak (review here), the intervening years would not have seemed to lessen that in the slightest.

Song’s here, blue copy follows. Go make friends with it:

MR.BISON, “The Child of the Night Sky” track premiere

MR. BISON – New album “Echoes From The Universe” out February 16th on Heavy Psych Sounds

Preorder link:

About the album, the band says: “The theme of “Echoes from the Universe” is the attempt, as human and temporal beings, to escape the idea of an alleged destiny predetermination by managing to build one’s own individual life path trough will power. Its concept is based on the of the Norse Norns myth, who weave the threads of universal destiny on a tapestry, in which all existence, in a continuous mix of past, present and future, intersect and influence each other, thereby generating a kaleidoscopic vortex of infinite and unpredictable possibilities. For this reason, we have used them as a symbol of freedom of choice, which never excludes but indeed implies, the element of chance.”

The artwork designed by Django Nokes reflects the Concept perfectly. “Echoes from the Universe” is an evocative soundscapes trip and fresh breeze of groovy beats and psychedelia swaying between sweet moments and massive progressive deliriums.

mr.bison echoes from the universeTRACKLIST

1. The Child Of The Night Sky
2. Collision
3. Dead In The Eye
4. Fragments
5. The Promise
6. The Veil
7. Staring At The Sun


Recorded by Matteo Barsacchi at Blotch Recordings Studio – Cecina (LI) Italy and Nicola Giorgetti at Indipendente Recordings – Matelica (MC) Italy.
Mixed by Nicola Giorgetti at Indipendente Recordings – Matelica (MC) Italy.
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering – Chicago (IL) US

Additional instrumentations by:
Fabio Cuomo (Synth, Keyboards “Collision”)
Dominik Wichrobrody (Bass “The Fragments)
Artwork by Django Nokes


Mr Bison is a rock band that melts heavy psychedelic sounds with progressive elements and evocative soundscapes.

Formed in a small coastal town in Tuscany / Italy, the band has reinvented their sound over the course of four albums from Stoner/Psych Sounds to Heavy Psychedelic Progressive Sounds,

firmly establishing themselves in 2018 with the acclaimed “HOLY OAK” and the latest Concept Album “SEAWARD”, which suddenly brought them touring around Europe and US many times, attending the best festivals on the scene such as Desertfest Berlin London Antwerp, Krach am Back, Duna Jam ….

The band has just finished the new concept album, produced by guitarist Matteo Barsacchi, mixed by Nicola Giorgetti at the Indipendente Recording Studio and mastered by Carl Saff.

Matteo Barsacchi (Guitar, Bass, Synth)
Matteo Sciocchetto(Guitar, Bass, Voice)
Lorenzo Salvadori (Drum)
Davide Salvadori (Acoustic Guitars, Synth, Hammond, Mellotron, Bass)

Mr. Bison, Seaward (2020)

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Desertfest Berlin 2023: Crowbar, Greenleaf, Messa, Fatso Jetson & More Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Berlin killing with their 2033 lineup it is no real surprise, but I’ll take it, and this third announcement crosses genre bounds with the likes of Crowbar, Greenleaf, Messa, Plainride and Fatso Jetson, The Great Machine — not to be confused with The Machine, who are also pretty great — and the increasingly ubiquitous High Desert Queen, whose inevitable Spring tour announcement feels all the more immanent as time goes on. As with its London counterpart, Berlin is flagship Desertfest in Europe — what one hopes New York will become as the brand expands perhaps to other US locales, potentially even the desert for which the fest and genre are named. These are future considerations, but let it tell you something that a decade after first being established, the forward potential for Desertfest remains so vital and so much a part of what it is. Berlin fosters that hope here, which is something to appreciate on multiple levels.

Mono, Mr. Bison and Perilymph round out the round, as the PR wire confirms and assures there’s still more to come. Awesome:

Desertfest berlin 2023 square poster again



⚡️ Full Line-up:


Weekend tickets for Desertfest Berlin 2023 are on sale NOW via the link in our bio or

The new venues for the 2023 edition will be Columbiahalle and Columbia Theater Berlin (with additional outdoor space & stage).
Address: Columbiadamm 13-21, 10965 Berlin.

Desertfest Berlin May 19th – 21st 2023 will take place at Columbiahalle and Columbia Theater (with additional outdoor space & stage) this year.

Event page:

Greenleaf, “March on Higher Grounds” official video

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Desertfest London 2023 Adds More Than 40 Bands; Yes, for Real.

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

I mean, what can you say to this other than ‘can I come?’ I’ve known this festival was capable of some real-deal shit over the last decade, but this is absolutely epic, which is a word I do my best to avoid. And they end it by saying there’s more to come. God damn. Really. God damn.




Desertfest London announce over 40 bands for 2023

Friday 5th May – Sunday 7th May 2023 | Weekend Tickets on sale now


Desertfest London is rounding off the year with an ear-shattering bang, announcing a mammoth 43 artists to their 2023 line-up. Joining the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard, Kadavar and Church of Misery, the Camden-based festival also welcomes back Corrosion of Conformity as headliners.

Pioneers of a groove-laden sound that is undeniably their own, Corrosion of Conformity have not been back on UK soil since 2018 so expect big, loud and memorable things from their appearance at Desertfest next year. Corrosion of Conformity have been due to play the event since 2020 – making their return one of the most widely requested in the event’s history.

Japan’s own avant-garde maestros of down-tuned psychedelia Boris leap over to London alongside the crushingly loud tones of NOLA’s own Crowbar. One of the most exciting bands in recent memory King Buffalo, make their long-awaited debut plus Desertfest favourites, Weedeater are back after five long years of chugging whiskey lord-knows-where.

The pace moves up a notch with New York City’s noise-rock guru’s Unsane and British punk-legends Discharge, all of whom bring a detour from the slow’n’low sounds the festival is best recognised for. Montreal’s Big | Brave will play the festival for the first time showcasing their experimental and minimalist take on the notion of ‘heavy’, whilst the doors to the Church of The Cosmic Skull are open, as they ask Desertfest revellers to join them in a union unlike any other.

Desertfest also warmly welcomes noise from STAKE, British anti-fascist black metallers Dawn Ray’d and London’s loudest duo Tuskar as well as some of the best recent stoner acts in the form of Telekinetic Yeti, Weedpecker & Great Electric Quest. Elsewhere the weekend will also see Wren, The Necromancers, Dommengang, Samavayo, Morass of Molasses, Sum of R & GNOB offer up unique live performances.

Rounding off this beast of an announcement are Acid Mammoth, Deatchant, Zetra, Trevor’s Head, Our Man in The Bronze Age, Wyatt E., Iron Jinn, Mr Bison, Troy The Band, Oreyeon, Warren Schoenbright, Early Moods, Longheads, Terror Cosmico, Thunder Horse, TONS, Vinnum Sabbathi, Bloodswamp, The Age of Truth, Earl of Hell and Black Groove.

Weekend Tickets for Desertfest London 2023 are on-sale now via
with more acts still to be announced.

Day splits and day tickets will be on sale from January.

Full Line-Up for Desertfest London 2023:

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Ripple Music and Vegas Rock Revolution Release The Revolution Lives! Benefit Compilation

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know how much cash a name-your-price comp is bringing in ultimately, but the not-cynical part of me wants to think supporting bands is still something humans are interested in doing, so here’s another way to do that. And if you name your price and your price is nothing, that’s not me trying to guilt you. Over 800,000 people filed for first-time unemployment insurance last month in the US. England has super-covid. Shit is tough everywhere and for everyone. There’s a reason it’s name-your-price and not $35.

As for critical observation, here’s one: John Gist does good work, Ripple Music does good work and these bands do good work. Stay tuned for more heavy hitting insights on the next episode. Make sure you like and subscribe.

All of the following comes from Bandcamp:

va ripple vrr the revolution lives

The Revolution Lives ***A Benefit for the Bands!***

In this day of the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of live shows, Ripple and Vegas Rock Revolution wanted to join forces to rejoice about all the great live music we’ve experienced. Based in Vegas, John Gist, running VRR has created a heavy underground scene where none existed! From his infamous Planet Desert Rock weekends to his numerous shows at Danny Koker’s Count’s Vamp’d, the Beauty Bar, and Bunkhouse Saloon among others, VRR has brought tons of Ripple bands to Vegas to rock the hell outta the desert.

So, now let’s celebrate. Think of this compilation as a virtual show… holding space until the real ones can resume.

Dig into this free comp, made just for you, summarizing all the Ripple family that has journeyed to the desert to play for VRR. Gist himself chose this tracklist and the incomparable Kyrre Bjurling provided the stellar art.

Although the album is “pay what you want” any proceeds raised for the purchase of this compilation will go to help out all the bands that have missed out on being able to perform live shows.

Dig in, and let’s unite when this is over to rock the hell out once again!

1. Brutal Winds – Freedom Hawk 04:54
2. Oklahoma Black Magic – The Watchers 04:29
3. Nothing to Lose – Void Vator 03:43
4. Chopper Wired – War Cloud 03:34
5. City Nights – Mothership 05:22
6. Lonely One Kenobi – Mos Generator 05:06
7. Into the Shredder – Ape Machine 03:56
8. Ain’t Trying to Go Down Slow – Shotgun Sawyer 03:16
9. Sun and Mist – Salem’s Bend 05:16
10. Hour Glass – High Priestess 06:46
11. Isolation – Wino 04:12
12. Three Minutes to Midnight – Wo Fat 06:20
13. Fathoms – Horseburner 08:12
14. Sunshine of Your Love – Blackwulf 03:38
15. The Grace of Time – Mr Bison 07:22
16. Light of Day – The Hazytones 03:56
17. Hypnotized – Red Desert 04:17
18. Fog of Whores – Cortez 04:55
19. Cactus Highways – Red Mesa 03:09
20. Better Off Alone – Fuzz Evil 04:42
21. Low Tide – Chiefs 03:48

VA, Ripple/VRR: The Revolution Lives (2020)

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