Masters of Reality return with their latest mind altered offering to master their, well, reality. Their sixth and latest record Pine/Cross Dover is a welcome return of the classic American desert kings who have many rock and roll fingers in many Palm Desert pies. Although released in 2009, the record is making waves over in the UK now. Presented as two halves, the question is Pine/Cross Dover, their first record in five years, any good?
As a pretty big Queens of the Stone Age fan, I was keen to dip my toe into the pool of rock and branch away from my Tension Head (a track which has incidentally been on my top five records for the last decade), let my ears broaden their taste and listen to fellow desert rockers Masters of Reality, which although I was quite familiar with them I hadn’t fully appreciated. Main member and founder Chris Goss has produced many QOTSA records, and so it’s a clear lineage many make associating the two bands together. To my bountiful joy I was pleased with what I heard in the shape of Pine/Cross Dover, kicking off with King Richard TLH, epitomizing from the outset the classic chugga chugga desert rock sound in a nutshell. This song makes me want to get up to get down, swing my limbs around the room and air drum to the max. Which, after doing so left me injured, but on a futuristic trip through nostalgia at the cusp of the desert rocking it’s best.
Chris Goss – something of a character!
Aside from the belting opener, stand out tracks include the blissful Always, pounding with its repetitive drum beats and guitar riffs commonly associated to bands in the Palm Desert scene. The instrumental Johnny’s Dream, broadens the sound and style of Masters of Reality to something more then what many have said to be within the realms of stoner rock. Johnny’s Dream is pure end credit music and an awakening to the bands’ previous explorations. Further tracks to download include Absinthe Jim and Me, and the juggernaut Up In It, with Dave Catching playing guest guitar on the former – a fellow member of the desert rock scene and collaborator to many Josh Homme projects, including touring with Eagles of Death Metal last year. Masters of Reality, who add a dash of dark riff house blues to complete their newest record, are for anyone who has overplayed their Queens of the Stone Age records (which does happen) and are after a darker and deeper foray into the light of desert rock at it’s best. Due to tour the UK supporting The Cult in early 2011, if you’re into psychedelic, desert rock and dirty riffs, this is a band you don’t want to miss.
- Alain Johannes: Spark (2010) Album Review
- Wolf&Cub: Vessels
- The Hills Have Riffs, The Demons, Bad Guys – Cable Street Studios – Live Review
- Charly Coombes and the New Breed EP Review: Waves
- We Fell To Earth – An Interview