Ã¢Â€ÂœThe outcome of a collective trudge across the European/American desert for 40 days and 40 nights.Ã¢Â€Â Cat Mask at Huggie Temple is the superb debut 12Ã¢Â€Â by Desert Heat, a dust bowl rock trio of Steve Gunn, John Truscinski and Cian Nugent.Ã‚Â The trio originally came together when they played a bowling alley followed by an appearance at Tusk Festival in Newcastle, UK where the trio jammed together like they had been a band for years. Part of the group's success hinges on John and Steve's rapport, honed through their releases as the Gunn-Truscinski Duo. The pair mix touches of folk, psych, raga, and rock into hypnotic pieces that straddle the line between improvisation and songcraft over two excellent albums released on Three Lobed Records. Cian Nugent, the prodigal Irish acoustic guitarist joins the duo as Desert Heat bringing his amalgam of suburban/coastal blues, 1960s & Ã¢Â€Â™70s singer-songwriters, psychedelia, 20th century composition and the Takoma school stylings into the mix.
The 12Ã¢Â€Â consists of two long and sprawling tracks, Ã¢Â€Â˜Cat Mask at Huggie TempleÃ¢Â€Â™ and Ã¢Â€Â˜Chimay BluesÃ¢Â€Â™. The former drops you straight in the never ending interplay between Cian and Steve who weave in and out of the beats that John lays down. The guitar exchanges build up to a climatic boogie jamfest. Ã¢Â€Â˜Chimay BluesÃ¢Â€Â™ starts of as a slow deconstructed raga before moving into a hypnotic groove building up to a crescendo before it passes you by and drifts of on the open highway. Semi-improvised yet impossibly tight, Desert Heat can only embody the flickering mirage on the open road under the fading heat of the evening sun.