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Sunday 19th October 2003 was a hazy evening in olde London town. This is mainly due to the fact the mighty Bongzilla were in town to fuel the Underworld with an overdose of intoxicating dope-driven sludge and titanic THC riffs. A certain London bar owner recently recounted to me his memory of hugging onto one of the pillars of the Underworld for dear life as the smoke took hold of both the room and his mind. My own recollection of the evening is equally hazy, lest I remember it being one of my favourite shows to have graced the hallowed Camden turf.

Skip to today, nearly 14 years further on, and we’re ecstatic to be bringing the Wisconsin weed troupe back for not one, but TWO sets at Desertfest 2017. Firstly a selection of older tracks from the likes of “Apogee”, “Methods For Attaining Extreme Altitudes”, and the now classic album “Stash”, will filter down in waves over the heads of the Underworld on the HDP/WPC Stage, before a main stage set at the legendary Roundhouse with a packed bowl of bongy classics spanning all their albums the following day.

Having bought fore-mentioned Stash sometime at the tail end of the 90’s simply based on the cover “art” alone, the riffs and swirling smoky sound that emulated once I had that CD into my trusty discman made me listen non-stop for pretty much a month! Clicking instantly into something deep within the weedian psyche Bongzilla’s sound carries an edge, a groggy yet visceral allure that makes the listener instantly hooked, and which is undoubtedly a part of the bands retained appeal and high regard. Iommi riff harbingers of the super skunk generation.

One could argue that now we find ourselves in a different era, bud is legal in virtually half of those vast lands across the pond (for how long is anyone’s guess), so it could be asked if Bongzilla carry that same subversive appeal that once drew us in? The answer has to be a resounding yes. Not simply for the subject content, but the waves of THC infused riffs that the quartet cultivate are simply too lush and too engrossing to ignore. Many imitators have come, but virtually none have encapsulated that boggy weed worship sound quite like the Relapse Records alumni did across their 3 full lengths and various splits / EP’s.

In short Bongzilla really need no introduction as any discerning stoner, sludge, doom, or weed metal fan will already have the legendary keefmasters firmly on the radar. So, be sure to get ready for a launch into the ether when these guys bring their strain of heavy to 2 of our stages in April. Remember kids, “Load Bongs, Not Guns”.

Words - Staggerin' Matt