I didn’t get the opportunity to review the first two volumes of Desert Records Legends Of The Desert series, so when Volume 3 came up, there was little to no chance that I wasn’t going to allow myself first dibs on it. The brilliant artwork comes courtesy of Joshua Mathus of Phoenix, Arizona, and typifies the album’s themes and sounds, that of the New Wild West, rather than the cringe worthy clichés of John Wayne movies, thank god.
The split features two bands, the first four tracks of which come from Palm Desert veterans Fatso Jetson. The band, who formed in 1994, feature Mario Lalli – guitar/vocals, Dino Von Lalli – guitar, Larry Lalli – bass, and Tony Tornay – drums. The band have always been of particular interest to me since their first couple of records were released on SST, Greg Ginn of Black Flag’s label and home to many great bands too numerous to list here.
With Night Of The Living Amends, from the off you are transported to the Palm Desert and the kind of extended blissed out psych desert rock that you’d expect considering some of the band’s pedigree in pioneers Yawning Man. That said, there is also a far bluesier edge to the track and a soulfulness that is somewhat lacking in Yawning Man’s more drawn out work, a perfect start to the album.
Angels Flight guest stars Sean Wheeler of Throw Rag and has a heavy country twang but with a darker grungier feel that makes you think of Alice In Chains during that band’s Jar Of Flies/Sap cycle. A brilliant collaboration. Todas Petrol Blues showcases a significant change in tempo in contrast to its more melodic predecessors, the track builds and builds and there is more of a punk apocalyptic death-rock vibe present. One is also reminded of early Queens of the Stone Age before the musical abortion that was Villains. Fatso Jetson‘s last track One Of Seven is an absolute garage-rock style beaut in the vein of the late great Roky Erickson and rounds off their side to brilliant effect.
An absolutely superb split which kept me entranced throughout…
Dali’s Llama are a Palm Desert band who I’m not familiar with but who have going since 1993 (around the same time that Fatso Jetson started). The band consist mainly of husband and wife duo Zach and Erica Huskey who play guitar/vocals and bass respectively. They have released an astounding fifteen albums to date, so it’s clear I have a lot of catching up to do.
They start their side with Coyotes In The Graveyard, an absolute lumbering beast of a swinging Sabbath style number. It towers over everything heard so far and if you aren’t banging your head to it then there really is no helping you. Lizards has a Picturebooks blues garagey stomp but one that is infinitely heavier than anything that band could ever dream of conjuring up.
For Rarified Zach‘s vocals reminds me of Saint Vitus’ original vocalist Scott Reagers and there are musical elements of that band present too with its doomier sound, with the added bonus of a pleasant bluegrass style interlude in-between. Speaking of Saint Vitus, Hypnotic Wind again takes its cues from them and has much more of a downer vibe as well as some pretty cool Melvins quirkiness to boot that help make for a satisfyingly eccentric conclusion to the album.
An absolutely superb split which kept me entranced throughout, it follows up and does justice to its predecessors. Highly recommended and essential listening once again from the great Desert Records.