This Desert Suns article was written by Danny Rogers, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Fraisia Dunn.
When you think of San Diego, some things that come to mind are sun, surfing, skateboarding, and early 1990s punk rock. But not from this act, with gut wrenching heavy metal riffs and a certain taste of psychedelia. Clever and dark melodies combine with drumming that John Bonham would be proud of. This is four piece rock act formed in late 2013, Desert Suns, with their self-titled debut LP.
Black Sabbath, Cream and Led Zepplin are some of their influences and they are not afraid to show them. This is no pub rock novelty act: this is progressive, this is real and the musicianship is of the deepest quality. There are hints of Ozzy in David Russel’s vocals, but this does not take away his haunting and precise delivery. He hits every note like he’s about to steal your soul and your girlfriend on such tracks as ‘Space Pussy’ and ‘Passing Through’.
Woogie Mitchell is on the guitar and he oozes quality through every track on this record with a pure arsenal of rock n’ roll riffs. In track three there is a passing ode to Tony Iommi, but apart from this, Woogie cuts deep into every track with his own brand of stomping blues and psychedelic guitar work.
The rhythm section grooves and flows and holds every track together with bass player Antony Belluto and drummer Ben McDowell. Without these two Woogie would not be free to execute this explosive form of metal guitar work on the world. This is a pairing made in metal heaven
The opening track ‘Burning Temples’ was Desert Suns’ debut single. Weighing in at 6:32 in length, this is a real statement of the band’s intention for the rest of the LP. With a haunting vocal delivery, clever lyrics, killer guitar riffs and a unmistakable groove of the rhythm section, it’s a satanic roller-coaster ride of metal, progressive rock and blues. This theme runs through the LP, with the exception of ‘Ten Feet Down’ which is a slower track and has a Mississippi blues feel that shows off the bands depth, skill and really gives the record breathing space.
Desert Suns are no way nostalgic or monotonous, they are progressive and true to their influences. This LP is a great starting point for the band. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this act.
Desert Suns is out on the 15th January via HeSike Records.