Desert Heat, “Chimay Blues”

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Desert Heat

Here’s the debut B-side to Cat Mask at Huggie Temple, the new Mie Music 12” by Desert Heat, the trio of Steve Gunn, John Truscinski, and Cian Nugent. They call the project “dust bowl rock” but it sounds tempered more for Holy Mountain than Days Of Heaven.

“Chimay Blues” is a slight, meandering, burnished psychedelic instrumental that coils and spins with the momentum of a flywheel. It starts off slow and cautious, as if the dudes are writing the song on the take, before their layering ostinatos have them galloping across a dusty mesa toward a Blood Meridian. Given the title has to be a play on the nickname of the alcohol-heavy gourmet beer, the sloppiness and worldliness here is remarkably apt and not at al discomfiting. Gunn’s reliably raga-esque guitar lines are by now a familiar counterpoint to Truscinski’s active percussion, here doubling down on Moe Tucker tom riffs. Pulling Irish acoustic folkie Nugent along for the ride adds a base of drone that results in something dark, a bit unsettling, but mostly fascinating.

Desert Heat's Cat Mask At Huggie Temple 12″ is out now on Mie.