2 of 2 thought this review was well written
“The Sessions began in August 1997 at a place called Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree when (Josh) Homme brought together musicians from the bands Monster Magnet, Goatsnake, earthlings?, Kyuss (his own band) and Soundgarden. The ranch is an old house filled to the brim with rare and unique recording equipment and instruments and is owned by Dave Catching and the late Fred Drake. Songs are written on the spot in matters of hours."
- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The albums actual full title is:
Desert Sessions I: Instrumental driving music for felons.
Desert Sessions II: Status: ships commander butchered.
The album starts off with an Evangelist rattling off the horrors of his sinful past on the track Preaching, you know the usual; Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and if you know anything about the musicians involved in this you know they love all three of them… but in the background you here a swirling pipe organ that leads into the “ratta-tat-tat" drumming and the booming bass line of the first song, Girl Boy Tom
, the guitars are rather low-key in this song as the rhythm plays a rambling riff, that sounds so broken up at times that I thought my speakers had popped. This gives things a bit of a vintage feel, like your cruising down Route 66 in an old El Camino at night, tunes Blaring, and paying more attention to the music then anything else, while the lead plays haunting reverb drenched licks that keep you from completely losing track of things. Then the song comes to a screeching halt, and Monkey in the Middle
comes in, it sounds like someone put on a mellow radio station, southing pipe organ and bass play in the background, while the guitar belts out this almost surf-ish sound. Then the organ plays a descending riff to bring it into Girl Boy Tom part II
which is a perfect continuation of where the first half left off, things eventually slow down to a crawl, and fade out, to me this sounds like while listening to Girl Boy Tom on the radio, someone changed the station, and you were digging the new song too. But then you flipped back to the old station and Josh was still rattling out that same solo he was almost 3 minutes ago.
After the swirling organ of the first 4 songs finally dies out, a very dirty sounding guitar comes in and that’s the first bit you hear of the next track Cowards way out
then a slow melodic bass comes in and after about a minute, a hollow sounding lead guitar comes in, its so slow and soothing it lulls you in, then a riff pops out of nowhere, followed by an awesome guitar solo, then the riff comes in a bunch of times with neat little fills between each time its played then Crashhhh! It stops and the organ comes in and plays something a reverend would testify to. Then the riff comes in and doesn't stop. The song starts to chug along, playing something that sounds like a teleporter would sound like from cheesy sci-fi movie, then comes in another awesome guitar solo, with some very strange bass and effects played behind it.
The next track Robotic Lunch
is pretty self explanatory… upon hearing it, it actually sounds like two robots sitting in a dinner having a cup of coffee and shootin’ the sh*t about what happened during the week, you can here them get angry, laugh and leave dramatic pauses during there clever anecdotes. A pretty cool track, it doesn't really add, or take anything from the album, but it does sound very similar to the Queens of the Stone Age song, “these are not the droids you are looking for". After so many misleading moments the song ends and Johnny the Boy
comes in, it starts with an upbeat sounding guitar and drums. But the special thing about this song is the first time that you hear vocals, and also, this might be the first time many people got to hear Josh Homme sing lead on a track. The lyrics are very cryptic and say something like
“You cook your brain; I am cooking your eyeballs"
But the music is really cool and upbeat, and the lead guitar during the chorus is very simple but very good. Later in the song there are a couple of cool guitar solos. After that song triumphantly fades out, Screaming Eagle
, doesn’t exactly scream in but, it does announce its presence with a sporadic intro featuring, chugging palm muted chords, a soothing little bass melody and someone shushing it all away to make room for the intro riff. No lyrics on this track but some chanting. This is the heaviest, and also probably the most straightforward sounding song on the album, it features awesome organ work and really cool riffs, also it has screaming guitar solos, and is only hampered by the fact that it just doesn't seem long enough.
The last actual song on the album, Cake (Who Sh*t on the?)
seems like it takes a little bit or everything heard on the album, and compiles it into, one epic retrospective. The entire song is solid, the riffing is great as usual, the lead guitar is fantastic, and the vocals are so fuzzy that you have to love them. All of these parts fit together to make a great song. The end of the song breaks down into one big jam session… but by the end I mean like the last 6 minutes or so. After the aural onslaught that is “Cake", the album closes with, the Mans Ruin Preach
; this is a short closing skit with a preacher man condemning the now Defunct Mans Ruin records, for harboring a bunch of sinners and fornicators. And with that the album closes exactly like it started and leaves you wanting more, because with a playing time of a little under 40 minutes, its not really a short album, its just so perfect I really just didn’t want it to stop, and in my opinion this album really is an unknown classic
, that truly deserves every bit of the 5 out of 5 that I am giving it.
Also if you ever see this in the store buy it, this album is damn near impossible to get because the record label it was released on, Mans Ruin, went bankrupt a few years back, and they havnt re-issued it. But theres a chance it could re-released be because the last one to be released by mans ruin, Volumes 7 & 8 ras recently re-released by Josh
Homees Rekords Rekords lable.