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Are you Ready NYC? DESERTFEST is HERE!

Text by Charles Nickles aka Kid Swinging

Desertfest is coming to America.

And this weekend the most venerable of stoner/doom/gloom/party/shrederator fests will lay waste to NYC with twenty-odd of the high and mightiest of riffmonsters the free world has to offer.

Here below are a few words about ten of them (selected randomly and in no particular order).

It’s gonna be a real weird time.


Heavy Temple

I was reasonably convinced 2018 would be the year Heavy Temple reigned the righteous fuck up supreme and though, they did rock the balls off more than a few steady heshers, some rumor has it this new lineup might make them the titans to slay the last days of this miserable decade.

Here Lies Man

Mad weird, sun-stroked heady-nug-fuzz afrobeat. This shit is a bit of an acquired taste, to be sure but once you get your eighteen licks in you’re gonna find Here Lies Man’s unique palette of biker sweat and polyrhythmic hip-shakers as delicious as a fresh batch of pork pie.


Yeah. Yeah. I know this is the big damn DUH since Weedeater is the eminent unfuckwithable Dixie death drug trip but I’ve never fuckin’ seen ‘em and I am scared shitless of the consequences of that mean benzo contact high.


Hard rock for hella rockers, Worshipper rides the treacherous slip between your disconcertingly hot coworker’s coked-out husband’s “jam band” and a pack of horny teenage boys reading RIP magazine until they puked. Rikki Rachtman would (have) approve(d).

Mick’s Jaguar

Remember when you first heard The Pleaser and thought, ‘MAN! This is pretty fuckin’ cool but it would be so much cooler if it was a legit Poison Idea ZZ Top covers record?” Well, Pig Champion is dead but – THANK MERCIFUL FUCK – Mick’s Jaguar are very much alive and very well may be the last great rawk and roll band on the planet.


Sticky old-school Austin shitkickers with a penchant for banging witches which is pretty much THEE most righteous of American dreams. Total skull bong rock replete with maximum riffage and sweet teen occult dreams.

Green Milk from the Planet Orange

Japanese fuzz prog freakout face-melting megajams from BEEEYYYOOONNNDD the beyond of the pale of the cosmic consciousness. I mean this is some straight up 13th Floor breakdown Ash Ra Haino total eclipse of reason shit that makes mad monkeys out of bravest of men.

Ruby the Hatchet

If Stevie Nicks had gone full cocaine witch seer circa ’73 and Lindsey’d been all “What if Tony Iommi really lost his finger in the Bayou?” then maybe, JUST MAYBE you’d have a Ruby the Hatchet on your hands. But they didn’t and we do so mom and dad can suck it.

The Skull

Doom writ on a decidedly contemporary slant. Almost nu NU as it were with a little bit of NWOBHM thrown in with the lilting licks and some strangled inflections that are alternately agitated and engaging which isn’t Maiden so much as Staley without those eerie harmonies so maybe, probably, possibly everything tallow-heavy at once.


Postrock psych stoner swoon sans the ironic detachment or emotional subterfuge of so many, many bands that roll in the eleven-minute singles racket. I’m not sure how I never knew Elder before but I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be the balm that helps five hundred some battered dudes feel at home in this world again.

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