steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Orquesta Del Desierto

Self-Titled CD


Genres: desert rock, blues, stoner rock

MeteorCity Records
PO Box 40322
Albuquerque, NM

July 15 - 21 2002

Perhaps as another of MeteorCity's roster-diversification measures, they've enlisted the talents of Orquesta del Desierto, a seven-piece desert-rock band that stays calm more than they rock out. With three members dedicated solely to playing guitar (and a fourth guitarist who also covers bass and organ), you can see what direction they're pointing in - guitars make up most of the album's foundation.

Many of the songs are atmospheric and surreal; "Globalist Dreams", for example, sounds kind of like Cerberus Shoal covering a Pink Floyd tune. Meanwhile, "From This View" is a stoned-out prog track that's been infused with psychedelic harmonica-playing and powerful vocals. This may come as a surprise to fans of the band members' other projects - including Kyuss, Goatsnake, Queens of the Stone Age, and Wool - but after hearing this, you may start to think that they've found their true calling in Orquesta Del Desierto.

There are, quite simply, no faults here - this is a beautiful, potent album that gives just as much attention to pop hooks as it does to atmosphere. As you can imagine, the results are astounding. While this may be far off from the traditional definition of "desert rock", you'll have no problem understanding why it's been given that label, and even less trouble understanding why I call it called "excellent". This is, quite simply, the penultimate desert chill out album.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 41 min 5 sec; ten tracks; distributed by All That's Heavy; released 21/05/02]