desertfest-splitThe annual London Desertfest is approaching. Held in various venues in Camden the 3 day festival takes place between the 29th April to the 1st May with nearly 60 bands playing. Included this year are Corrosion Of Conformity, Russian Circles, Electric Wizard, Trouble, Pelican, Crowbar, Godflesh, Blood Ceremony, Unearthly Trance, Rotor, Wo-Fat, Mantar, Mondo Drag and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We will be putting up a preview of the event here soon but speaking of icebergs which are in pretty short supply in the desert, so is another thing at the event itself; limited edition vinyl releases. At the event there are bound to be some of these on offer which are snapped up the second the door is opened and stashed safely away by collectors. Following on from last year’s split featuring Karma To Burn and Sons Of Alpha 2016 will see special Desertfest vinyl release of two very different bands Raging Speedhorn and Monster Magnet. We got sent a preview of this to tell you about but don’t worry it’s not one of the 300 copies; these will be yours if you can get them quickly enough.

Although both very much Desertfest friendly the two acts are poles and indeed an ocean apart. Corby Bruisers Raging Speedhorn who are playing the fest this year at The Underworld on the Friday are liable to tear your face off with their rather violent show. They have been raging since 1998 and given us the horn with 4 albums so far and a 5th Lost Ritual due to land in June this year. I’ve seen them over the years playing early in their career with Medulla Nocte to more recently at Sonisphere and they always pack one hell of a mean punch with their aggro brand of hardcore sludge. The single features an abrasive cut Halfway To Hell’ from this newly promised beast. Back with original vocalist Frank Regan for the first time since 2005 disc ‘How The Great Have Fallen’ it’s a meaty number with a groove heavy bounce about it that could even be along with the bellowing vocal rasps be looked on as a modern day predecessor of group’s such as Black Flag. Moving into a doom laden section it gets heady and heavy and it has an Iron Monkey sounding fuck you attitude riding through it. No doubt the band will be airing it live and causing absolute carnage when they do in the pit.

Monster Magnet should need no introduction! Original space lord and all round mother trucker Dave Wyndorf and his troops of doom have been the purveyors of damn fine US psychedelic stoner rock since the late 80’s. There have been trials and tribulations along the way but they have weathered it out and during that time addicted fans far and wide with a rake of excellent albums. Their shows are always excellent too and although not playing the Desertfest this year many attendees no doubt caught them recently along with Orange Goblin at one of the fests venues, The Electric ballroom. On the other side of this wax platter they are dishing up a favourite from 2010 album ‘Mastermind’, its opening cut ‘Hallucination Bomb’. Trembling in with speaker shaking bass this one powers up and off into a heady dope cloud fug, rich with melody and bolstered by Dave’s harmonious clean croons. If you haven’t heard it already it will take just one listen of the chorus to have you singing along, if you have you’ll be well aware of this right?

I guess the rest is up to you if you want a copy, so buckle up space cadet and get to the front of the queue.

(Pete Woods)