Death Rattle

Desert Storm

From their label's website, "In some towns you have a music scene to work with […]
Desert Storm - Death Rattle album cover

From their label's website, "In some towns you have a music scene to work with and in others, you have to make the scene around you. DESERT STORM are from Oxford. They built the scene themselves. Launched into the world in 2007, their mix of Southern Rock and Stoner Metal is underpinned with a driving, pure rock 'n' roll strut. It's a formula which makes for a reliably ass- kicking band." The new album has nine songs.

"Master of None" is the first. The sound is fairly interesting. It lies somewhere within the giant umbrella of "Rock" music, with some Stoner elements for sure, but the first song isn't very exciting. "Cheyne Stoking" is nearly twice as long, so it has more developmental and exploratory tones. At first, it's relatively easy and smooth, but a heavier sound ensues, with meaty bass notes. This song is getting me into their groove a bit more. "Bad Trip" begins with more smooth tones that give way to angry shouts. Of all the vocal styles a band can bring, shouts are the worst for me. I instantly am reminded of CROWBAR in that regard.

"Melatone" is a slow, grinding, and heavier groove with some more thickness in the guitar parts. The vocals are again shouted, and this song really grinds out, but with some ambient moments as well. "Salt of the Earth" begins with doleful clean guitars, and some downtrodden tones. It reflects the title well. Heavier tones come in, and they are pushy, and the song wrestles from there between the two styles. "Druid's Health" is heavy and slow out of the gate. Bossy tones are replaced by more ambient ones in the middle of the song, but the heavy landscape returns. "Insomniac" has a faster moving intro with a good deal of energy, and a kick in your ass, but from there it is a slow and powerful grind. Mellow tones emerge from the cloud of dust it kicked up, but the heavy tones return with a vengeance.

"Self Deprecation" is as it sounds...the slow and desperate sound of someone hating on themselves. The vocals reflect the theme very well, as do the guitars. By the end of the song, you feel hopelessly defeated. The short "New Dawn" closes the album. It's almost as if a new leaf is turned over at the end of the album, and your fortunes grow longer. Happy tones, even? I must admit, the album grew on me...even the vocals did. One thing that I can say about the band is they have a good deal of confidence on the album, even if the style isn't your go to. They also kept things interesting by switching between heavy, pounding passages, and more mellow ones.

7 / 10









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"Death Rattle" Track-listing:

1. Master of None
2. Cheyne Stoking
3. Bad Trip
4. Melatone
5. Salt of the Earth
6. Druid's Heath
7. Insomniac
8. Self Deprecation
9. New Dawn

Desert Storm Lineup:

Matthew Ryan - Vocals
Ryan Cole - Guitars
Chris White - Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Elliot Cole - Drums, Percussion
Matthew Dennett - Bass

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