Desert Sessions Vols. 7 & 8 Review
Like Smoke from an ass
Brought to you by
Here's a bad song-by-song review of the new Desert Sessions.
Don't Drink Poison
Hanging Tree
Polly Wants a Crack Rock
Up in Hell
The Idiots Guide
Interpretive Reading
Cold Sore Superstars
Making a Cross
Piano Bench Breaks
There are 13 tracks. Two more than usual. Based on how the last two tracks sound, I'm assuming that they're both bonus tracks. I guess we'll know when we get the vinyl.... Also, anything in quotes comes from the letter that came with the disc.
Volume 7 - Gypsy Marches
"The songs from the first half of this album (1-5, titled "Gypsy Marches") have an extremely dark, almost Middle-Eastern vibe." Each new volume of the Desert Sessions breaks new ground. This one is no different. Volume 7 doesn't rock in any conventional way, like vols. 5 & 6 rock, but it still rocks. The Desert Sessions are becoming more and more a "hey, everyone switch instruments!" deal with every volume. Josh is back on drums again for three of the five songs (a total of six of 13 songs on both volumes). Brendon brings in such new instruments as the mandolin, the tomboura, the balalika, and the always fun indian waterfall chopstick tweeker type guitar. And it wouldn't be the Desert Sessions without some tripped-out, fucked-up song performed by a bunch of manic schizophrenics, who are represented this time by the Winners and the CRACK ASS FUCK YOU KIDS. That said, on to the songs.
Don't Drink Poison (5:03)
To my knowledge, none of the people involved in this project have ever done a song with such a Middle Eastern feel. The song doesn't start right away; instead, we get a few moments of noise, a bell signaling the start of another long, jam-filled day at the studio, and someone whistling the verse melody. A mandolin and a crumar provide the bulk of the verse melody with a drum march played underneath it. The chours melody is supplied by two or three souls wailing ah-ah-ah-ah. As is the case with most Desert Sessions songs, this is unlike anything I've heard before.
vox - Slamantha (Maloney) and Chris Goss
Hanging Tree (3:14)
This song starts off with a devilishly quick bass line, driven by our own Josh Homme. Hanging Tree is one of the more conventional songs on this volume, but in the desert 'conventional' means 'unconventional.' The lyrics are dark and supplied by the great Mark Lanegan. Everything about the song adds to the urgency begun by the opening bass.
Winners (1:07)
Weird-Ass song no. 1. On every volume of the Desert Sessions is at least one song that is so strange that it resists description. This is one of those songs. It is closest to Take Me to Your Leader.
Polly Wants a Crack Rock (2:30)
Take the smoky sounds of A #1, the oohs and aaahs of Punk Rock Caveman, the end of Millionaire, and the vocals of Jr. High Love, slow it down a little bit, add in a cool riff and some lightly sinister lyrics delivered by Nick ElDorado, bake at 100 degrees (with a dash of herbal enjoyment for flavor), and you'll get something similar to Polly Wants a Crack Rock.
Up in Hell (4:47)
This song is similar to Don't Drink Poison in that it has a distinctly Mid-Eastern desert feel. It begins with a mandolin and after about 40 seconds, big drums, hand-claps, and stomps come in (think Spiders and Vinegaroons). But it doesn't stop there. The grandiose main riff is akin to Led Zeppelin's Kashmir or to a less-trippy Venus in Furs (Velvet Underground). The title of the volume, Gypsy Marches, is most evident in this song and Don't Drink Poison.
Volume 8 -Can You See Under My Thumb? There You Are
This volume is much stranger than the previous volume; Interpretive Reading, Covousier, and Piano Bench Breaks see to that. Some of the songs just fucking rock, though, in a different way than they've rocked before. You also have more Fun with Names: Nick "Meth McMasters" ElDorado, Samantha "Darling," Fred "Dollar Drink Night" Drake, Brendy pants, Josh "Yeah? What?" Homme, Alain "Niala Sennahoj" Johannes, Cole Johntrane, Nigel Thistlewaityourturner III, Francesco Sordini, Harry Rockchild, Bubbles Mcfadden, Tush Horror, Countess Fuckface, and the Duchess of Dick.
Nenada (3:11)
"'Nenada' (sung by Natascha Schneider) rocks HARD with a [sic] almost Thin Lizzy-ish vibe, yet features a catchy melody and chorus sung in Russian!" [If anyone speaks Russian, please, please, please help with the lyrics....]
The Idiots Guide (3:05)
"The Idiots Guide" would not be out of place on a Queens of the Stone Age release." vox by Josh.
Interpretive Reading (1:37)
Weird-Ass song no. 2. This song will make your eyebrows go up in confusion and your jaw drop to the ground. To say any more would ruin the surprise.
Covousier (1:51)
This could easily be a song by Isaac Hayes. It's very soulful and smooth, every bit an Isaac Hayes song, until the last line: "really miss you, since I killed you." (pron. Ko-va-see-ay - think the Ladies Man, for those of you who watch Saturday Night Live)
Cold Sore Superstars (3:25)
This is another conventional yet unconventional song. The verse is whispered in the vein of Marilyn Manson, but that's where the similarities end. An ensemble song if there ever was o ne, this song features two drummers, two piano players, two voxers, and Alain on the Sacks-a-phone.
Making a Cross (5:32)
"The beauty in the beginning of 'Making a Cross,' builds to a hard and heavy end section that successfully proves you don't have to be 'metal' to be 'heavy.'" The slogging, slowly marching, dragging feet rhythm of this song and the use of more Mid-Eastern/Far-Eastern instruments harkens back to the Gypsy Marches theme, if only for a while. This song is as close to an epic as any Desert Sessions song has gotten thus far. It reminds me of something I've heard before but can't place.
Ending (1:30)
Literally, the ending of a song, with screaming and thanking of the crowd that one might find at the end of an 80's heavy metal band's stadium show. There is a slight reprise of the Mid-Eastern riffing.
Piano Beach Breaks (1:09)
Exactly what it sounds like. Note about the time: the song stops and after about 40 seconds, a warped voice says "coming soon on rekords rekords, Fatso Jetson, yadda yadda" and then there's a clip of a Fatso Jetson song. I'm going to assume that this isn't on the real album, but even so, I don't know exactly how long Piano Bench Breaks really is.
The End
That's it. Now, go buy it!
main songs and releases the band tour history articles and gallery qotsa online
Thank You For Your Patronage