Tuesday 29 May 2018

Red Mesa - The Devil And The Desert (Album Review)

Release date: June 01st 2018. Label: Desert Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Devil And The Desert – Tracklisting

1.Devil Come Out To Play
2.The Devil's Coming Round
3.Springtime In The Desert
4.Desert Sol
5.Sacred Datura
6.Route 666
7.The Devil And The Desert 10:39


Brad Frye-Guitar/Vocals


Red Mesa new album - The Devil And The Desert - is in essence a Stoner Rock album. Though one with a difference. As Red Mesa add elements of Americana and Blues Rock with the usual Psychedelic interludes that appear on most Stoner Rock albums these days.

Opening song - Devil Come Out To Play - has a mellow All Them Witches approach to it with the band playing an Americana/Country Rock style of Stoner based sounds. The song is played superbly well. However it's not the most exciting songs to open the album with. As the mood is quite mellow and too peaceful for my own liking.

Second track - The Devil's Coming Round - features more intricate slowly played Desert/Americana/Stoner Rock sounds as Red Mesa adopt a more semi-acoustic approach with their music .The vocals and lyrics are very good indeed. Quite atmospheric and gloomy in parts. Red Mesa do play a heavy doom based riff towards the end of the song as the album finally springs into life with a pounding Doom Rock/Metal sound. Red Mesa feels influenced by the "American Outlaw" culture that's featured so prominently over the last sixty years or so. As the album's message is very distinctive and rebellious at the same time.

Third track - Springtime In The Desert - opens with a middle-eastern sound before slowly disappearing and Red Mesa start to play their familiar "semi-acoustic" sound. This is quite an intriguing song and sees the band changing their musical styles yet again. The song maybe could have done with some vocals.

The second half of the album is where Red Mesa finally start making things happen. As the album moves into heavier Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock territory with traces of bleak Desert Rock sounds. Songs such as: Desert Sol, Sacred Datura and Route 666 has a more downbeat vibe compared to the first three songs. The riffs become heavier and more progressive with Red Mesa taking influence from bands such as Kyuss and Monster Magnet. Even the vocals on Sacred Datura feel influenced by Dave Wyndorf.

The final song - The Devil And The Desert - is the true standout song on the album with Red Mesa playing a bombastic style of Desert Rock, Psych, Blues and the all-important Stoner Rock grooves that holds everything together.

The production is loud, soulful and extremely vibrant especially when the heavier riffs appear. After a slow start, The Devil And The Desert becomes a highly intriguing and superbly entertaining album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Brad from Red Mesa for the promo.