On Desert Ships; new album HEAVY SOUP (Desert Ships, 2023)

Stirred by song-spells in a cosmic studio kitchen
The new pysch-rock infusion from the flavoursome
Desert Ships sounds as if song had taste as well as texture
As Mikey Buckley’s guitar and voice season
His musical menu into a potion of poetic sound:

Taste the trip. For there is steam and stars to this mix
Much like the rising cloud from care’s space-craft
As the Sci-Fi blues they engender from Garage Rock,
Dream pop, and the psychedelic strand binds us all,
As Daniel McLean John Paul Jones on bass and synth,

Steering wisely as Claude Trejonis Drums and BVs
Song-broth smells so sweetly as through a Gourmet’s ear
You’re enthralled. WATCHING THE WORLD STOP stridently thrills
As Buckley’s youthful slur slaps stark visions. His chiming guitar
Melts the Buzzcocks into a sublime LA sheen, as this jilted John

Slams world not girl for forsaking all that was precious
This perfect precis grants the fatal red its own green. 
FIRE ON THE MOON shimmers in, accelerating Mazzy Star
And dark summers. Those nights when the weather
Forms its own kind of war with the earth. A sense of

Propulsion is felt as Buckley’s rocketing force takes us higher
Powered by McLean and Trejonis, as 2m 13 arcs an orbit
Around what fate has in store for us and our worth.
There is so much craft on display it needs no UFO designer;
This song-ship rises because of its clear understanding

Of form through each string. The three musicians meld
On into the other, courtesy of Buckley’s production and mix,
And Tim Turan’s mastering. Ingredients fuse as in cuisine
From all countries, and so it is with HEAVY SOUP’s four-to-flooring
That somehow summons the 60s through to the 90s from Love

To Ride, and the players who make from song spaces in which
To think and dance faster in. The Buckley slur is heard here
As his strings shine through his singing; sleeper, star-sweeper,
He is licking the sky as he drinks from the stuff of such stars
And from the sounds he has conjured. Music is magic.

It is mixture and myth. Guitars think. MOSQUITO BLUES
Is a summery strum from the 80s, as if The Lotus Eaters
Had swallowed Sweet Jane by the Velvets, or even
The sprightly Housemartins for lunch.  And this is the mark
Of great songs; we believe that we’ve already heard them.

Just so, this familiar swing is pop perfect. Its sweet immediacy
Makes soup brunch. As well as nourishment while NEON
Is more musically manly. It is Robin Hitchcock’s Egyptians
Meets Iggy Pop. Buckley’s sung sneer is like Beck,
Or the Lemonheads’ Evan Dando. He sounds like a torn

T-Shirt tyrant commandeering your local record shop.
The trio combine as salt and soup do with croutons,
Each one a part of the other as this immaculate song-suite
Is sipped. MOON LANDING sounds like HP Lovecraft.
The old psychedelic band, not the author, as into the mix

The ear’s dipped. And yet totally original as I say,
As craft and care sets sounds soaring into the aether
And to the ever of course music shapes. PICK UP YOUR PHONE
Captures this as its swoop of synth and guitar line entrances
As this call for connection echoes the exits that too often occur

As time scrapes. Inside here are yearning and years
Contained and kept inside moments for which
We are searching despite every being’s  particular need
To escape. Song as philosophy then told in the simplest
Of language. Pop as poetry carving from direct expression

The wildness within us and the wilderness still surrounding,
As if in an instant we would all return to the ape.
LOSING TRACK OF TIME seals the deal which music makes
For us. In a handful of signals from cymbals to strings,
Fruth is sourced. And also sauced as the heavy soup

Finds full flavour and these eight songs summon
The sound of survival powered by pop with fine force.
This is 27minutes and 41 seconds. Nearly half an hour’s
Endeavour that through your listening will now last
Throughout your coming days and as for as long as for you,

Music matters. The future’s still forming, and here are songs
Scented not just by its promise but by the present
And the riches within the sweet past. Look beyond
Your device and feel that future. Inhale. Such soup
Saves you. The  die is a crouton to be put to the test.

                                Crunch, then cast.



                                           David Erdos 11/8/23 



DESERT SHIPS new album


Out Friday 28th April

Listen HERE



                              Photo: Carl Fox


“A hot, thick melting pot of effervescent tunes”
Elvis Thirlwell, Shindig! Magazine

“Simply breathtaking” – Drowned in Sound

“Great fucking songs!” – Alan McGee (Creation Records)


Desert Ships, purveyors of a premier brand of psych-rock with an infections pop quality, return with new album ‘Heavy Soup’ on 28th April. With support from the likes of Cerys Matthews (6 Music) and John Kennedy’s X-Posure Show (Radio X) for the singles building to the release, it is set to light up the summer in rock ‘n’ roll haze.

The album was produced by vocalist/guitarist Mikey Buckley and recorded & mixed at his home studio, combining his experience as the chief live engineer at London’s Paper Dress Vintage and his production work with other bands, including the Steve Lamacq-championed Modern Guilt.

Desert Ships – completed by Daniel McLean (bass/synth) and Claude Trejonis (drums/vocals) – demonstrate once again the quality of their craft and an astute ear for entrancing arrangement. Mikey and Dan initially met at university, and spent a year in France together not attending class but cutting their teeth ‘Hamburg style’ playing concerts five nights a week as ‘The Dripping Baguettes’.

These lifelong friends blend garage rock, dream pop and neo-psychedelia to create their own sci-fi blues. In a career stretching over a decade, they have picked up a number of canny psych collaborators, including Ride’s Mark Gardener – who produced the band’s first two collections – as well as Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3) , Haydn Bendall (Kate Bush) and Alex Scannell (The Bees). Another key contributor to their work has been Jules Buckley, brother of frontman Mikey, who arranged ‘Melody Nelson era’ strings for the band’s album Eastern Flow between work with Quincy Jones, John Cale and Arctic Monkeys.

A recent and scintillating live session for Act Cool Records confirmed that “Desert Ships are a fantastic band that deliver groovy, hypnotic tunes” (Music Is To Blame). Director Gil De Ray, known for his work with Little Barrie, imaginatively illustrated this with his accompanying video for the track ‘Heavy Soup’.

Mastered by Tim Turan (Supergrass, Killing Joke), ‘Heavy Soup’ is available to stream/download across all digital platforms Friday 28th April 2023.




This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.