Album Review: Desert Clouds – Planexit (Mandrone Records)

Planexit marks the next chapter in Desert Clouds’ two-decade career. The London based outfit deliver ’60s psychedelic/rock influences and ’90s arrangements (or the other way around), with their own distinctive dark sound. It will be released on March 25th, 2022 via Mandrone Records.

In their own words:

This new album is a journey throughout the inner side of the human being, represented by a nameless man who is trying to escape the surrounding environment that overwhelms him.

Trippy, groovy, grunge-tinged, melodic and with plenty of rock energy, the opening title track sends the mind drifting through the ether. Desert Clouds making their intriguing blend of genres sound both intense and relaxing at the same time. You can mellow out to it but also get up and dance too.

It’s this concoction that makes the immediate impact so strong but Desert Clouds have so much more in the tank and turn things up to a more electrifying level with Mamarse. The tempo is foot-tapping and head-banging gold. Whereas Wheelchair is laidback, atmospheric, with a calming rock-infused dreaminess and Staring at the Midnight Sun alternates between a healing balm of chill and bursts of harder rock energy. A track that twists and turns in the breeze to transform into something darker and less comforting before dropping away into a more psych-infused direction. It’s a subtly done shift in tone but one that is hinted at throughout and feels so natural.

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That they can conjure up images of sinking into a super soft bed after a long day and conjure up images of raucous dive bars filled with happy, drunk patrons never fails to amaze. In lesser talented hands it could be jarring but Desert Clouds are so very talented. It’s their innate abilities to construct constantly thrilling efforts that makes this an album of the year contender.

Just check out the tracks that make up the second half of the album.

Willow, a tightly-wound ball of energy. Deceivers, a releasing of that energy with a touch of desert-psych twang and punch-drunk riffs. Revolutionary Lies, a jangling blast of electric rhythm and groove, and Pearl Marmalade, a rumbling slice of smoky smoothness with an expertly crafted explosion of epic rockiness.

Before Speed of Shadow ends the Planexit story in strong, energetic and groovy fashion, wonderfully tinged with mellow psych touches and melody. Although it is a fantastic closing track, it is par for the course with Desert Clouds on this album though. Every track can be called fantastic.

Desert Clouds – Planexit Full Track Listing:

1. Planexit
2. Mamarse
3. Wheelchair
4. Staring At the Midnight Sun
5. Willow
6. Deceivers
7. Revolutionary Lies
8. Pearl Marmalade
9. Speed Of Shadow


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Desert Clouds - Planexit (Mandrone Records)
  • The Final Score - 10/10
User Review
6.63/10 (4 votes)