REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

London's Psychedelic rock group Desert Mountain Tribe gather all for their EP launch show

In case you have not heard of Desert Mountain Tribe before, let me introduce you. These three brothers from London town first emerged onto the underground music scene in 2012.

DMT 1.2

Desert Mountain Tribe @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen 28/03/14

Back in the day, all three had had a plethora of previous musical affiliations, all probably leading them to that final place where they truly found the sound and style they all wanted to pursue. Having involvement with
Brett Orrison from
The Black Angels, who mastered the bands debut EP back in 2013, DMT have a good name associated with them already, and unsurprisingly too as they fit into today's psych rock revival scene very well. To date, the band have shared the stage with the likes of
Damo Suzuki,
The Lucid Dream,
Wall Of Death and
Telescopes as well as an appearance on one of
Reverb Conspiracy's infamous psych compilations with their track '
Coming Down'. Today, they rock up onstage with a casual but passionate demeanor, ready to play their psychedelic sounds to a small trendy crowd at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Hoxton Square, London. This is to celebrate their EP launch, which is the first thing you see at the door; the cover a mix of psychedelic painted patterns with a largely printed and melded together 'DMT' over the top.
Their image is a good one - simplistic colourful visuals going on behind the band as they play, letting you focus on both the musical enjoyment factor and the aesthetic side to things. Jonty Balls on vocals and lead guitar is an unmissable stage presence. His guitar skills are noticeable and clever and let the music rise to apocalyptic heights at times. The bass playing at the right of the stage coming from brother Philipp is consistent and always a prominent melody formation throughout their set, it provides that extra touch of something that both soothes you and stands out within the tracks. Things are crisp and concise in terms of the drumming played by Felix Jahn, his playing sometimes reminiscent of the style of
Manuel Parra
The Holydrug Couple
- with almost hip-hop influences coming through.
Always a good thing in anyones books to not have a samey drumming style that blends into a thousand others you've heard. Felix's playing conjures up something unique which is great.
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DMT 20 Desert Mountain Tribe are fun to watch, they have energy and genuine enjoyment of what they do. They are skilled musicians and come up with catchy songs, this is all true and strong. However for me and my psych fussy ears, they don't evoke anything hugely different. Having been to a fair few psych festivals and events you do tend to see a lot of similar psychedelic rock bands bashing out those same melodies and rises in songs with long drawn out 'psych outs'. This is not to say there's nothing I like about DMT, as there's a couple of stand out songs such as '
Sunshine Escape' and '
Take A Ride' which really are awesome. But on the whole this band doesn't leave me feeling wowed or particularly enchanted. Maybe it was an off night for them or maybe this is just another band that for me, blends into other similar psych rock bands around today. Having said that, I praise them for their tracks that push through with shining colours, and they are genuine about their craft, that you can never knock. Hope to see more unique creations from this group in the future.

 Photos by Jo Wells