Friday 11 November 2016

Duskwood - Desert Queen (Album Review)

Release date: November 14th 2016. Label: Stone Groove Records. Format: CD/DD

Desert Queen – Tracklisting

All These Walls
Church Of Misery
Hazy Eye
Desert Queen
Stoner Cat (Coming To)

Band Members:

Liam - Vocals
Laurence - Lead Guitar
Greg - Rhythm Guitar
Aaron - Bass Guitar
Jack - Drums


Duskwood's debut album - Desert Queen - is a loud and boisterous take on Desert/Stoner Rock. It has a certain vintage grunge and punkish blues rock based charm to it though the band isn’t afraid to add levels of Psychedelic based Fuzz. The band takes similar ideas that QOTSA and Truckfighters created back in the day. The first two opening tracks - Obelisk and Titan - give you the impression that Duskwood have put a lot of time and thought into their music.

The riffs are played with a knowing swagger and vibrant energy. The vocals from Liam take some time getting used to. As there more suited to Grunge style theatrics and not the Desert/Stoner Rock world. Duskwood don't rest on their laurels as they build upon the albums early sounds into something more meaningful especially on Church Of Misery, Hurricane, Crone, Desert Queen and Stoner Cat (Coming To).

The vocals have a certain aggression to them on different parts of the album. Even after listening to the album about four or five times, you begin to notice that this is quite an angry album in places. Despite the warm fuzzy/desert riffs the album duly contains. Duskwood start to apply classic sounding Hard Rock/Heavy Metal based jams into their sound on one the albums strongest tracks – Hazy Eye.

My favourite parts of the album is when Duskwood start playing progressive guitar solos as they have a real flair for creating progressive stoner based noises. The production of the album is handled superbly well as the album contains its fair share of loud moments.

The only criticism I have is with the lyrics as they sound very old-fashioned at times compared to the more modern sounding stoner based riffs. Maybe I'm being too harsh on the band as Desert Queen is a fantastic sounding album. It captures the vibrant, spirit and energy of the iconic Desert/Stoner Rock scenes over the last twenty years or so.

It’s hard to believe that these guys are currently unsigned as Desert Queen is such a great album. If any independent labels are looking for new talent then sign these guys up. Duskwood are perhaps one of the best of the new breed of UK based Stoner Rock/Metal bands that are worth keeping an eye on.

Words by Steve Howe