Desert Mountain Tribe

Om Parvat Mystery


This outfit came together in 2012, grouping Jonty Balls on guitar/vocal, Philipp Jann on bass and Frank Van Der Ploeg on drums. Roadwork has honed their act and songs and this new album reflects the sound of a working band. These cuts were recorded in London and on The Faroe Islands.

Opening cut It’s All Good has a thunderous beginning and sounds a bit like The Cult in call-to-arms mode. The vocal is a tad more punky than one might expect but doesn’t have the Iggy snarl and resonance. It’s an uplifting and trippy sound which seems to have been recorded too loud, for that overloaded timbre. My, the drummer is busy, never letting up for a moment as the bass booms away. Indistinct vocal delivery may be deliberate but rather blunts the song impact. I like the docking spaceship finale and fade.

Way Back To You hits a bubbling bass run under FX-ridden guitar sheeting. That bratty singing is used again, sounds like vague anger mutated by substances, all part of the act, I’m guessing. The power and insistence is impressive but the topline lacks the definition attained by, say, Thee Hypnotics or The Hellacopters. Wide Eyes kicks off with toppy guitar chording and a clearer vocal. Then within a minute a fuzzwall takes over, covering the singing. Yes I know they aim at wasted smudged eyeliner ambience but the production lets the songs down. World set off on a sonic voyage that would lend itself to an imaginative animation film, a real spacey vibe at work here and a good band sound. The vocal is poorly mixed, so largely lost to the listener.

On to Spyders with its crisp acoustic core swiftly joined by the pulsing group sound. Jonty is beginning to sound like Richard Ashcroft. Maybe he’s a fan. Even the melody is Verve-ish. High Drive is almost whispered and almost pastoral but could have used some piano. A lot if the record sounds supplemented by synth washes, y the way. Next up we have VII which is a fuzzcloud heading for Stone Roses territory but with a lovely floating melody that the group carries very well. The bass is liberated and the octave’d guitar run is spot on.

Himalaya benefits from additional sitar over the slow-pump drone. Does rather sound like a Kula Shaker outtake here and there. Wrapping the collection up is Chemical Genius.which rocks out with mucho flanging on the guitars and a tempo that sounds like early Floyd speeded up (trust me, I saw them with Syd). It gets a head of steam up for sure and sounds like a set closer, where they walk off with everything turned up full, looking moody.

Not my cup of tea, this sounds like misdirected energy too much of the time. They can certainly play very well, so it’s down to material and production.

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks go to Sacha and to Gary)

Desert Mountain Tribe's new album 'Om Parvat Mystery' is out now on Membran.

You can watch the official music video for 'Wide Eyes' in this article.

For more information visit the band's official website here: 

Desert Mountain Tribe