The Desert Sessions is the pet project of Josh Hommes (QOTSA, Kyuss) where he invites all his friends to hang out for a week in his recording studio located in the middle of the desert, with rock and roll’s finest musicians, drugs, expensive equipment.  As a result, 12 EPS have been released featuring multiple collaborations between artists such as PJ Harvey, Mark Lanegan, Dave Grohl. 

‘Move Together’ is the opening track. A minimalistic beat that follows Billy Gibson from ZZ Top while he spits love verses. The band fully comes in after the two-minute intro with dirty guitars and the signature sound of stoner rock. Gibson traditionally would not be described as a sensual singer but somehow he gives the groove and adds the spirit to make it a sexy song. 

The main single is ‘Crucifire’. Michael Kerr (Royal Blood) is the star of this track. Royal Blood has been compared on many occasions to QOTSA (and sometimes not in a positive light). This song proves that Royal Blood does have their own signature sound and ability to shine through in an album.

‘Chic Tweetz’ is the silly song. Written by the mysterious Töôrnst Hülpft and comedian Matt Berry, (What we do in the shadows, The IT Crowd) the song could be described as an interesting experience. 

Rumour has it that Töôrnst Hülpft is just Josh Hommes’ voice distorted into a different accent. Or more hopefully, Töôrnst Hülpft is the next Norwegian superstar with a German accent that might join the ranks of ABBA and reach Nordic global stardom. Jokes aside, the song is actually quite good and sounds like something Frank Zappa might have released with the completely ridiculous lyrics, weird tempos and corny instrumentation. 

One of the most disappointing songs featured on the album is ‘If you Run’.  Libby Grace’s voice is weak and when the whole band joins in, her vocals aren’t on par. It sounds like a generic country song which is barely saved by the guitar solos. 

The jewel of the album is ‘Easier than Done’. Guitars are set apart and the piano is the main protagonist. The song shows some influence of Elton John and David Bowie. However, the complete stop in the middle of the ballad, gave it a sharp and unique rock and roll angle. 

Desert Sessions Vol 11 and 12 bring some interesting collaborations, cool sounding tracks and a whole lot of attitude.

4 stars

 

Image: Matador Records

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