Desert Storm/Suns Of Thunder split 7″

1st split ep


H42 RECORDS 2016.

I’m not going to lie to you, I can’t stand the term “stoner rock”. I’m not even sure what it means these days. That said it can’t be denied that the UK right now is a hotbed of bands that are falling into this loose genre. H42 Records have brought together two of these bands onto one small, limited edition piece of vinyl with one track apiece to show the rest of the world exactly how it should be done.

Of all the bands in the UK DESERT STORM and SUNS OF THUNDER are easily riding high as two of the best. Desert Storm, from Oxford, are one of the hardest working bands on the scene. They’ve managed three albums and numerous tours with the likes of KARMA TO BURNHONKY and NASHVILLE PUSSY. Their albums are varied affairs that jump from genre to genre like a rat on a volcano! One minute they can be banging out muscular, bluesy grooves and the next giving Mastodon a run for their money. Their track here, “Signals From Beyond”, sits firmly in the former camp. It has a big riffing, CLUTCH-esque groove. In fact CLUTCH have often been a very close comparison for these guys not least due to Matt Ryan’s gruff, Neil Fallon style bark and the sharp, pentatonic riffing. Here Ryan has tempered his usual belligerent bark with a little more melody and a huge chorus that is catchier than Ebola during a game of Twister! If I have any criticism it’s just that the drums sound a little distant and the bass doesn’t really cut through making the overall sound a little thin…but hey, it’s a great track so don’t let that put you off!

Now, SUNS OF THUNDER. I make no bones about the fact that this band is pretty much my favourite UK band right now. Their album “Start As You Mean To Get Down” made it to number two on my list of 2015’s best albums right behind SLAYER and their offering here, “Earn Your Stripes” is taken from that album. It just so happens that this track is one of the highlights from a highlight album full of highlights! The Suns guys know how to throw down a massive groove. Yes it has touches of CLUTCH but they also know how to throw in little curveball twists into their arsenal of ridiculously catchy riffs. The dual vocals of Greg Bombroffe and Matt Williams are also something that set this band apart as they throw lines back and forth, weaving around each other and coming together for maximum effect. The album from which this track comes was a long time in the making and the recording/mixing process was a painstaking one so, as you might expect, the production is absolutely spot on…crystal clear, bright, heavy and punchy which helps to make sense of the band’s complex yet totally immediate style.

If you want an introduction to what the UK is capable of right now in the heavy rock field this little slab of wax is pretty much all you need to hear right now. You can expect awesomeness like this…

and this…