Sunday 17 July 2016

Lo Sound Desert (Film Review)

Release date: June 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD/DVD

Lo Sound Desert – Two Chapters Of Rock Music

Chapter 1 – Backyard Rebellion
Chapter 2 – The Outskirts Of Town




Lo Sound Desert is finally upon and it seemed like an eternity for the film to be released. Trailers started surfacing back in 2011 and it promised an in-depth look at the legendary Desert Rock/Stoner Rock scene of the late 80s and early 90s. Director Joerg Steineck then decided to make another Stoner Rock Documentary sorry I mean Fuzzomentary with the excellent Truckfighters Fuzzomentary released back in 2012.

After that film was released Joerg went back to his earlier project and Lo Sound Desert is finally here. Lo Sound Desert provides an in-depth look at the origins of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene and how it influenced bands and musicians for generations to come. The film is split into two parts - Backyard Rebellion and The Outskirts Of Town.

Backyard Rebellion explains how the scene started with key interviews from Sean Wheeler, Mario Lalli, Brant Bjork, Scott Reeder, Nick Olivieri, Alfredo Hernanez, Tony Brown Diprima and Josh Homme. I never knew the Desert Rock scene had it's foundings with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack Culture moving to Palm Springs and bringing their type of life with them. As the documentary states they hated Rock And Roll culture. They banned Rock and Roll concerts to the mid 1980s but with kids being kids, they needed a place and an output to create music of their own. And this is the beginnings of an underground scene starting to develop.

Joerg expertly delves into the emergence of this scene with great interviews and cool animated sequences (I think that Joerg is a massive Terry Gilliam fan. As the sequences are funny and surreal as hell at times) moving the film along at a rapid pace. Lo Sound Desert also contains a ton of great footage recorded from the 80s/90s and you can see real talent emerging right in front of you.

The second part of the documentary explores how the scene moved to the desert with the scene becoming more and more wilder with each generator party. Mainly with the bands and their fans evading police at every given opportunity. The film then explores band who found some minor success within the 90s Stoner Rock scene mainly KYUSS and Yawning Man. Though not everyone was pleased with KYUSS's success and Joerg captures these moments with brutal hilarity. Not going to say which bands or members who diss them but it made me laugh.

The one thing you come away from the movie is who the real saviour or hero of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene actually is. And that honour goes to Mario Lalli. I came away with a much greater respect for Mario after watching this documentary as his generosity for helping other bands knows no bounds. Mario is perhaps the true embodiment and spirit of the Desert Rock/Stoner Rock scene. And I thank Joerg for pointing this out on this excellent documentary.

The production is superb throughout. It may have taken Joerg a long time to make this film but he's delivered the goods here. This is perhaps the most important film of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene. If people need educating on how the Desert/Stoner Rock scene evolved then they should watch this film. This ranks along side Such Hawks Such Hounds as one of the essential music documentaries to own.

Words by Steve Howe