Search - Desert Sessions :: Volume 1 & 2

Volume 1 & 2
Desert Sessions
Volume 1 & 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Desert Sessions
Title: Volume 1 & 2
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Man's Ruin Records
Release Date: 2/24/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Metal
Styles: By Decade, 1990s
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 699675101121

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CD Reviews

An amazing album heard by the privileged few...
Mr. P. Hallows | Manchester, UK | 11/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Desert sessions volume 1 (Instrumental driving music for felons) and volume 2 (status: ships commander butchered) are the results of a lost musicians desire to create a new era. Ex-Kyuss songwriter and one-time Screaming Trees guitarist Joshua Homme found himself at a junction, let Kyuss be his crowning moment or fight for a greater glory, Desert Sessions 1&2 was the first step towards the latter.
Assembling a band of brilliant underdog musicians and piling into a recording studio no-where out in the scorched Californian desert, Homme did what none of his past bands allowed him to do, collaborate and experiment. Featuring the mental inflictions of Brant Bjork, Dave Catching, Pete Stahl, Fred Drake and other like minded souls, the album creates a world never visited before, a planet in a David Lynch universe ravaged by psychedelic storms.

The album crackles into life with a grainy amen to Satan from a despairing worshipper [1; Preachin],With its completion, we're straight into a haunting rock marathon laced with eerie keys and nightmare guitar, steaming along to a frantic beat with a sinister undertow of minimalist bass [Track 2; Girl boy Tom]. A prog rock tribute follows with Dave Catchings love of antique synth sounding off to soaring melancholy guitar, reminiscent of Rick Wakemans broodiest moments [Track 3; Monkey in the middle). Track four [Girl boy Tom] acts as an extended reprise to 'Monkey in the middle', the three opening tracks playing like the soundtrack to a trilogy of shorts about a junkie going to a high only to come back down to find himself in a graffiti laden public restroom.
'Cowards way out' [Track 5] whilst not being to dissimilar to its album precursors, has more melodic guitar riffs and easier dynamics, with a sound that will be familiar to fans of 'Queens of the stone ages' self titled debut album. Down-beat Californian rock slowly builds to rapid drumming and trade mark Homme guitar warbling without becoming too excitable or breaking the albums atmosphere.
'Robotic lunch (alt. version)' [Track 6] is perhaps the most unusual (and slightly disappointing) musical jaunt on the album signifying the end of Volume 1, its odd romping pace and bending bass notes could be the accompaniment to any 1950's android flick.
Volume 2 leaps into force with sixties dance guitar and classic rock and roll drumming and also the first track to feature vocals, with Josh Homme's softly sung metal moans and some harmonious choir choruses (The sound of a proto 'Eagles of death metal'). 'Johnny the boy' [Track 7] shows a lighter touch to the album and makes for an unexpected (yet not unpleasant) break.
'Screamin' eagle' [Track 8] opens like a 'pink-floyd'esque power epic, with a reuse of vocal choruses and an infusion of grungy and stadium guitar working, blasting into roof-raising organ cumulating in a grinding sound off between the various instruments. Above all, this track remains a personal favourite of mine, a real wall of sound generated to great effect.
'Cake' is the 9th and last musical track of the desert session musical odyssey, it also stands as the longest recording at over 9minutes in length. Opening like a true death metal track, Pete Stahl's growling vocal dirge screams over a wailing guitar, this gives way to high keys and rhythmic percussion with the laid back sound of porn-groove rock. Moving into short riffs and stripped down jazz alike beats the album gently plays down to wrap itself up.
A familiar preacher ends the album with a chastising of the 'Mans ruin' label to the stripped down sound of blues guitar. Amen.

Whilst this album may not be to every ones tastes, it isn't as mainstream or accessible as Hommes other projects, it will be enjoyed by those who like their rock to have an unexplored edge. For me, this album is sheer brilliance, as a big fan of 'Queens of the stone age' 'Kyuss' and other more sinister rock bands, its unusual compositions and recipes for doom strike an instant chord within. The real tragedy is that 'Mans Ruin' records are now defunct and this album is no longer in press, but for those lucky few who get to hear this album, they will agree that it is a bizarre masterpiece. It is truly the sound of a distant future, echoing back to us from far away, and stands alone from the vastly different other desert sessions, my only sadness is that this is too unique, and I will never hear anything like this for a long, long time..."