Whether a stud or not Andrew Godfrey calls Virginia home and not Transylvania but luckily this EP has something worthy of sinking its teeth into. Looking at his adopted moniker here you may well expect some sort of Finnish glam, goth, horror punk abomination but thankfully that is not the case in the slightest as Godfrey takes us out to wide open desert vistas with the three main tracks here. Desert Rock is not the sort of music that you would expect someone going at alone, nor is actually exploring the desert itself, it normally ends in dehydration and a slow agonizing death. Luckily as far as the music is concerned what we have here provides an oasis of ideas.

The title track slowly rocks out with guitar riffs chugging away and a good thick sense of melody behind it. Vocals come in and are nice and clean and fragrant like a smooth hit on a bong. These tracks are short and no long meandering journeys like many of the sprawling songs the genre throws out and Godfrey is quick at throwing a memorable and punchy chorus into this number. It’s a number you are guaranteed to be singing along to before it’s even through on 1st spin and the hooks are definitely going to reel you in. Lovers of everyone from Kyuss, to Monster Magnet are going to find themselves nodding along happily. ‘Of Suffering’ injects some blustery, fuzziness and rocks out with the vocals a bit more on the forceful side. Some strident punchy guitar riffs give it a touch of adrenaline and it’s one that’s easy to rock out to with a good flamboyant instrumental mid-section urging it along. ‘Consummate’ has a psyche edge (man) and things get a touch hazy in the desert, are we seeing a mirage? Again not beating around the bush it rocks away and there is a definite Soundgarden vibe about it, vocals are spot on and it’s a more than enjoyable slice of nirvana.

You can hear all these tracks on the Bandcamp link below but as far as the CD is concerned there’s a couple of bonuses/ First we get a live session version of ‘Red Queen’ and if it hadn’t quite got its hooks in before you will definitely not escape it a second time around. As the lyrics profess “that Queen ain’t gonna turn you loose.” We also get an unreleased track called ‘Burn’ which is louder in the mix and a real boisterous rocker that would give everyone from Nirvana to QOTSA a run for their money. This one landed in a sea of frosty one man black metal acts that are releasing things at this time of year and provided an instant hit and change of direction that was more than welcome. I’d be more than happy for a whole album’s worth of material in the future.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)