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GRAVEYARD SMASH! 2ND HEADLINER FOR DESERTFEST 2018 REVEALED!

If any band can claim responsibility for the surge of retro-infused, blues-stuffed rock n roll seeping through the underground over the past decade, it has to be Graveyard; which is why we’re beyond proud to announce that they’ll be headlining Desertfest 2018!

Formed in the fertile ashes of Norrsken in 2005 (a band which also featured Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft), Graveyard immediately rose to the top of Sweden’s, and indeed Europe’s, fuzz drenched scene thanks to their immaculate self-titled debut. Finding a straight-down-the-middle rock foundation to build from, the opening strains of ‘Evil Ways’ perfectly introduced the riff worship that has permeated the band’s output ever since, as well as their trademark subdued moments, such as in the beautifully arranged ‘As The Years Pass By, The Hours Bend’.

By the time 2011s Hisingen Blues dropped, with the band already making significant strides with their brain rattling hooks, Graveyard were comfortably peppering their sound with heavy psych, producing an album this humble writer believes is one of the greatest albums released in the past decade; before swiftly blowing it out of the water with their third release, Lights Out. It was a period where Graveyard seemed untouchable, not only within our niche underground scene, but wider, seeing the band play a European jaunt with the tragically departed Soundgarden. It almost didn’t last.

Our collective scene let out a universal groan at the end of 2016 when, shortly after the release of Innocence and Decadence, Graveyard announced they were putting the lights out. After four fantastic records in less than a decade, it was soul crushing to be faced with a world without the band. But you can’t keep great music down. Less than 4 months after their apparent , Graveyard rose to prove they weren’t buried just yet.

In 2018, we’ll finally see Graveyard grace our stage as headliners, marking their first UK gig in over 2 years. So set your slow motion countdown for May and get ready for a Graveyard smash at Desertfest 2018.

Words: Tom Geddes

WEEDEATER TO BRING THEIR GOLIATHAN SLUDGE TO DESERTFEST

Pack a bowl and prepare for a wizard fight because loveable North Carolina drug-guzzlers Weedeater are coming to Desertfest 2018!

It’s hard not to love stoner titans Weedeater with classics like God Luck and Good Speed and Sixteen Tons under their belt and apocryphal tales of frontman "Dixie" Dave Collins shooting off his own toe with his ‘favourite’ shotgun only adding to their legend.

Formed in 1998 after Buzzov•en disbanded, these guys have been laying down their own combination of tar-thick, slowly-swaggering riffs for almost twenty years, with their latest album, Goliathan, released by Season of Mist in 2015. Bolstered by the recent addition of absolute powerhouse Travis Owen on drums, and with Shep’s fuzzed out riffs forever setting up the smoky landscape, “Dixie” Dave’s going to be free to hop around, scream and unleash his devastating low-end grooves like some demented, backwater shaman when he hits the stage.

Whether they’ll be treating us to classics from their back catalogue or new material remains to be seen, but Weedeater are simply not to be missed.

Words: Tom McKibbin

ELDER TO BRING FLOATING WORLD TO DESERTFEST 2018!

Over the last five years, they have gone from standing as one of heavy riffing’s most potential-filled practitioners to adopting a progressive scope entirely their own. After playing the pre-show in 2013 and taking part in the fest proper in 2014 and 2016, Elder will return to Desertfest in 2018 on the heels of their greatest accomplishment yet: 2017’s Reflections of a Floating World.

No question that the trio of guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matthew Couto had their work cut out for them in following-up 2015’s epic Lore, but as they expanded to a four-piece with the inclusion of guitarist/keyboardist Mike Risberg, the reach of their craft moved likewise outward, and in songs like ‘Sanctuary,’ ‘The Falling Veil’ and ‘Thousand Hands,’ Elder’s material offers more sonic textures than ever before. True to their roots, they’re still very much a heavy band, but the clarity they bring to the studio and the stage has become nothing less than shimmering, and as they return to Camden Town in 2018, it is with an influence cast in all directions and only continuing to grow.

“Desertfest London is one of our absolute favorite festivals and we're thrilled to have been invited back for a third time!” enthuses DiSalvo. “We have nothing but love for the audience, crew and organizers, who have gone from acquaintances to good friends over our many visits to Camden Town. It's great to see a festival flourishing year after year and we're stoked to check another box on our lives' fantasy bucket list by sharing the bill with Monster Magnet, Eyehategod and Nebula, just to name a few!”

Now based in Germany as well as their native Massachusetts, Elder have never presented so vast a perspective, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to the Desertfest as veterans returning, as one of the most unique bands on the planet, and as one of the underground’s most crucial and vital acts taking a stage where we know they’ll feel right at home.

Words: JJ Koczan

ZEKE TO RIFF DESERTFEST TIL THE LIVIN' END IN 2018!

Sandwiched somewhere between the rapid-fire, speed-guzzling lunacy of punk and the distinctly bourbon-scented outright abandon of heavy rock n' roll, you'll find Seattle's underground legends of the riff, Zeke. Now heading into their 25th year together of blasting those raging motorcycle anthems of rebellion, attitude and sheer heads-up metallic mania, Zeke are finally back upon our shores and we're thrilled to announce they'll be joining us in Camden for Desertfest 2018!

Formed by gasoline-lunged frontman Blind Marky Felchtone as a firm "Zeke You!" to the grunge boom of '93, Zeke have certainly been through their fair share of line-up changes over the years. But no-one could ever fault this collective's commitment to blending both punk and metal together into one great, glorious fusion of warped, in-your-face, aggressive, yet good-time rock. Early records like Dirty Sanchez and Kicked in the Teeth focused more on the foursome's hardcore punk roots with dozens of 60-second bursts of precision sonic detonation each time. But a switch from Epitaph to Relapse Records in 2004 brought with it a welcome additional side-road into more hard rock-leaning territories on Til the Livin End and a successive raft of split releases. Things have been quiet in the Zeke camp for a few years of late, but now, almost fourteen years after the iconic Til the Livin' End broke all our necks, Zeke are back with a new full-length Hellbender and the wheels of their hotrod of a live show are beginning to whirr once again into gear.

So, from Dölphunwülf to Death Alley, get ready to Ride With Zeke once again this coming April at Desertfest 2018!

Words: Pete Green

FREEDOM HAWK TO BREAK THE CAGE AT DESERTFEST 2018!

Virginia Beach's good-time rocking, sometimes-trio-sometimes-quartet Freedom Hawk might not be the most well-spotted of sonic birds of prey on European shores. But that doesn't mean we haven't missed spying their glorious riffs and fantastically frenetic boogie-downs through our all-too rockular binoculars

If you're unfamiliar with the rawk of these Hawks, then simply imagine the classic fuzzorama of the likes of Fu Manchu and sHeavy, nestling down for the night with the sickly modernity and feel-good vibes of Kadavar and Mothership, and you've got yourself a prime slice of Freedom pie. Whether you prefer the chock-fulla-stoner-rock bangers of their self-titled second record, the crunchier metallic grooves of Holding On or the more psychedelic broods of Sunlight or Into Your Mind, Freedom Hawk's output has never been anything but solid, consistent and down-right great fun in it's desert-dwelling lore.

The Hawk themselves comment: "We are looking really forward to playing in the UK and Desertfest London. This is actually our first time playing on U.K. soil despite massive amounts of fan mail and two European tours under our belt. We are back up to a 4-piece again, bringing in Brendan O'Neil on our 2nd guitar to bring back the metal packaging, dueling guitar and harmonies that the Hawk is best known for. Thanks to Ripple Music, there will be a Vinyl release of our 2009 S/T album coming out November 17th in UK, Europe and North America. Finally, we are getting close to heading in the studio to record our 5th album (naming TBD) with a worldwide release expected in March 2018 of next year, so right on time for Desertfest!"

Make sure you're one of the early birds and get ready to watch Freedom Hawk truly soar at Desertfest 2018.

Words: Pete Green

WITNESS MISS LAVA ERUPT AT DESERTFEST 2018!

Portugal’s Miss Lava, who have been around for over a decade, have progressively upped the ante of their output. Now on their third album, Sonic Debris, their brand of grungy, high octane stoner ‘n’ roll is invigorated by faster tempos, fatter sounds, and especially expressive lyrical stylings from singer Johnny Lee - Jane’s Addiction style.

Head-charging songs such as ‘Another Beast Is Born’ morph comfortably from Monster-Magnetized swagger into galloping biker rock tracks like ‘The Silent Ghost Of Doom’. Longer tracks like ‘I’m The Asteroid’ give the band time to explore more complex arrangements, peppering various textures and tempos with guitarist K. Raffah’s screaming wah solos. In the aftermath they break into reflective acoustic passages which bring to mind the more subdued moments of Alice In Chains.

With Portuguese TV appearances and prestigious Euro-fest invitations under their belt, this is the Lisbon four-piece’s first appearance at a major UK event, and Desertfest is proud to give them a warm Camden welcome. Come witness the London eruption of Miss Lava at Desertfest 2018!

Words: Rich Sheppard

MOUNTAINS TO SCALE DESERTFEST 2018!

London trio Mountains are set to make their Desertfest debut in 2018 and we couldn’t be happier to have the band showcase their diverse sound.

Formed in 2014, the band honed their wares for three years before their first release, the full length Dust in the Glare, in March 2017. Unapologetic for the scope of influences and breadth of genres, the album is a bold and assured introduction to Mountains. No two tracks sound alike. Opener, ‘Everglades’, displays hints of metal, though you’re soon drifting through subdued sections. ‘Towards the Woods’ brings a swampy groove that barrels satisfyingly into the fuzzy opening section of follower ‘Ten Paces’. Even ‘Keep Watch’ changes the pace with a pure burst of sun drenched riffs.

Yet despite the divergent forces at work through Mountains’ sound, everything is underpinned by a confident base of prog and the vocals of David Jupp, working to reign the band in from ever straying too far in any direction; a feat all the more impressive when the relatively short track lengths are taken into account.

Sure to be a hidden gem of Desertfest 2018, why not hit the peak with Mountains in May.

Words: Tom Geddes

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JOURNEY INTO TREVOR'S HEAD AT DESERTFEST 2018!

Trevor’s Head present chunky, stoner riffage from the deepest darkest recesses of Redhill, Surrey.

Fans of ‘90s alternative will particularly appreciate their varied approach as all sorts of influences are on display, from Tool & Alice In Chains, to The Wildhearts to the UK’s Send No Flowers - a band enamoured by the best US grunge, but unfortunately born in the wrong country.

Of the many highlights, notable are the constantly melodic vocals and musical segues, fearlessly lead by singer/guitarist Roger Atkins and perfectly accompanied by the band’s impressive harmonies. All of these tuneful considerations do not come at the expense of grunt though; every song has plenty of powerful grit and the pace picks up with punky, driving aggression, all wrapped up in warm desert-fuzz tone.

It’s impossible to watch Trevor’s Head without being impressed by their passionate and exuberant live performance, so Desertfest invites you all to join the trip around the inside of Trevor’s Head in 2018. Don’t miss it!

Words: Rich Sheppard