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(Damn) This Desert Air

Delivering an intense sonic boom infused with huge doses of melody, (Damn) This Desert Air bring you their brand new EP, Nebulosity. This return to recorded form is the band’s follow up to their full-length album Pyramids, which Engineer Records co-released with Belgium’s Funtime Records and Spain’s Desert Pearl Union, both other labels now defunct.


This is (Damn) This Desert Air’s fourth release overall, aside from compilation appearances including tribute albums in the name of 90’s underground tastemakers, Hum and Failure.

On Nebulosity, (Damn) This Desert Air barge through the door with the surging entrance of “Body Anchor (Back in Atlantis)”, the opening track and lead off single. The song sets the stage for the wide range of tone bending audio within. Drums are impactful with just the right punch and pocket; Guitars surge with layers of saturation around the warm, driving bass; Brazen vocals both in your face and memorably sung provide a commanding lead mere seconds after pressing play. Strings swell in the background at times, never too omnipresent, yet enhancing the bed of emotion within. All beautifully blended together by engineer/mixer Chris Badami at Portrait Recording Studios.

Three riff-laden tracks and one pensively evocative closer are what (D)TDA delivered, leaving the impulsive desire to unravel the layers within, upon each additional listen.

(D)TDA are:
Craig Cirinelli: Microphone

Ti Kreck: Drums

Mike Wolff: Guitar

Shawn Reams: Guitar, Keys

Dan Cav: Bass guitar

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Mass Movement:

It took me about twenty seconds to fall in love with (Damn) This Desert Air. I’m not talking about the seedy, stalkery, dirty sort of lust that attempts to pass itself off as passion, rather the sort of infatuation that inspires you to want to want to try to be happy, to be the best version of yourself that you can be and by shifting gears in the mystical realms of positivity, change the world.  Yeah, (Damn) This Desert Air really is that good.

Sitting comfortably on the throne of that magical plain of punk rock bliss that exists between Quicksand and Seaweed, (Damn) This Desert Air deserve to ascend to the premiere league of the scene and live there forever. The four tracks on Nebulosity have completely sold me on this oddly named ensemble and I will be singing their praises until my dying breath. All hail your new punk rock gods… 

-Tim Cundle


Blood Makes Noise

It's been interesting (for lack of a better word) watching the soundscape of rock music change over the course of the past 15 years.  The shelf-life of full-length albums is a lot shorter and Spotify is the prevalent platform for discovering new music. With a lot more to prove in an industry where the art (sadly) seems to be increasingly more disposable, some bands have reacted musically with shorter songs and/or less material per release.  I won't be presumptuous in my attempted assessment of the new EP "Nebulosity" from New Jersey's (Damn) This Desert Air; what I will say is that DTDA have made a hard-hitting release that will please even the most impatient of rock fans, all while honing the sound they've worked to craft since their last release "Pyramids" in 2013. 

"Body Anchor (Back in Atlantis)" opens the EP with a huge chorus.  This is called a "pro-move."  Drums kick us straight into it, followed by a big major chord and Craig's strong vocal delivery which is truly a highlight on this release.  The lyrics are a survival tale of someone grappling with their own self-destructive whims.  "I throw away device, rationale asking, 'why, why are you so manic?'"  The song creates a center for the rest of the EP to work from, and I really like that about the sequencing here. 

"Reach" begins with a warm guitar driven intro and the band comes in pretty straightaway into a soft verse that builds up through a two chord pre-chorus, and into another big chorus where Craig's vocals are the star.  The guitar intro comes back for a second verse, but this time, we see the appearance of what sounds like an organ, mixed with piano and acoustic guitar.  "Lonely Train" works great as a third track with a reverby delayed guitar intro that brought back memories of 2000s post-hardcore, ala Circa Survive and a more tame Deftones.  The EP closes with the ballad-esque "Cauterize."  The song could've easily been transformed into just another novel "acoustic" track (sometimes those songs are fucking really good, and other times they are not), but they went with an interesting format here: a picked bass with a chorus effect on it and some supplemental synth, where Craig can really allow for his dynamic abilities to showcase here.  Many releases aim at vamping up the listener for a big ending, but this one finds a huge catharsis in ending with a minimal presentation with sociopolitical lyrical overtones. 

The production from esteemed producer Chris Badami of Portrait Studios allows this band to clearly do what they do best.  The hard drums and growling bass stay relatively grounded and tight to allow the guitars to interact and venture off a little bit, creating space in each track. 

This release is an impressive effort from some incredible musicians.  

-Eddie Templeton


We’re thrilled to premiere the new video for “Body Anchor (Back in Atlantis)” from veteran New Jersey post-hardcore outfit (Damn) This Desert Air. The video is a powerful accompaniment to a guttural song, both sonically and lyrically. The guitars are powerful and overwhelming right from the start, as a towering and melodic wall of sound quickly emerges. The serrated guitars have an aggressive Screaming Trees-like snarl to them and frontman Craig Cirinelli’s booming voice acutely conveys the harsh, piercing reality of the lyrics. The crushing lyrics appear to detail a scenario where a confidant or trusted person kicks you when you’re down, but the metaphorical words cut much deeper.

With vivid drowning imagery, Cirinelli describes being “Tied to the seat with ankles bound / You throw me over / With lead on my feet you send me down / This body anchor.” The purple-hued video, directed by Justin Wilson (Toadies, True Widow, Polyphonic Spree) is both eerie and suspenseful, as it follows the protagonist as he traverses through a purple-hued forest. He first pulls a guitar from the bank of a lake, moving through the woods with it in slow motion as he’s pursued by a cloaked figure. The setting eventually morphs into darkness, before splitting into two as he slowly approaches the ominous figure.

"Body Anchor (Back in Atlantis)” will appear on (Damn) This Desert Air's new EP Nebulosity, which is set for release on July 24th via Engineer Records. 

-Tom Gallo


I love it when it’s been a while since you’ve heard from a band you like and they drop new music and it’s really good. That’s the case with this weeks Band Of The Week, (Damn) This Desert Air. It had been a few years since there was new music from this band. Their last album, Pyramids, still finds its way into rotation for me and it’s still a rocking record. Now, they have released a new EP called Nebulosity and it’s chock full of crunchy riffs, hard hitting rhythms and soaring melodic vocals. (Damn) This Desert Air is a band that has taken their cues from the space rock of the 90’s (Failure and Hum), added some cool post-hardcore vibes (a la Quicksand) and some melodic grunge in the way that STP did on Core and Purple. When you listen to the song “Body Anchor (Back In Atlantis),” you can definitely hear all three of those influences come into play. There is also a real maturity to this band as well that will probably get overlooked. That element has given these new songs a real sense of purpose and urgency. The passion you can hear in the performances are undeniable and it truly gives new life to this band. A song like “Lonely Train” is a great example of this. Nebulosity is a great way for (Damn) This Desert Air to come back. This EP is an encapsulation of what they’ve done in the past and are working towards. I urge anyone that reads this to really take the time to listen to this band. The pure nature of what this band is really shines. I’m quite excited to have them back and hope this is just the beginning of more to come.

-Brian Lacey

Thoughts Words Actions:

It’s been a while since I covered some alternative rock music on these pages, and I feel this particular group is more than adequate and worth mentioning on the blog. (Damn) This Desert Air is an alternative rock quartet commencing from New Jersey. The group has been active for more than a decade, went through some line-up changes throughout the years, and so far released a self-titled debut EP in 2007, Koi Splits #2 in 2008, Distance Waits EP released in 2010, and a full-length album called Pyramids, released in 2012. After eight years, (Damn) This Desert Air returns in all its glory with another marvelous recording named Nebulosity.

Nebulosity offers four detailed compositions that are shapeshifting the boundaries of an alternative rock sound. The alternative rock may be their primary direction, but these musicians are not afraid to experiment with music. Quite the contrary, experimentations are more than welcome and vividly hearable throughout the entire material. (Damn) This Desert Air are not playing on the safe card with this one, but their music will appeal to the broader auditorium. The group merged the pieces all together without losing inviolable dominance of alternative music. Therefore, you may notice elements of fusion rock, space rock, indie, and post-hardcore along the way.

Craig Cirinelli completely dominates throughout the record with his wide-range vocal maneuvers. His chants are leading the consumers through the vast space of perfectly executed guitar shreds. The chord progressions are thoughtfully structured to match his vocal techniques. The guitars are keeping the right amounts of arpeggiated segments, compact shreddings, and more calmy moments on each composition. Therefore, each track contains the right amount of astounding moments that are keeping these tunes energetic, entertaining, and non-repetitious. Compelling basslines are coming somewhere in between and supporting guitar works with massive, but clean low-end tones. Nothing would sound so powerful without an excellent drummer. Remarkable drumming performance includes generous portions of cleverly arranged rhythmical structures, energized drum fills, and delicate accentuations.

Nebulosity carries an exceptional atmospheric feel that grows even bigger as this recording passes by. (Damn) This Desert Air managed to stack up emotions into relentlessly dynamic songs, unreservedly loaded with remarkable moments. The group demonstrates what they’re capable of through tremendous musicianship, defined orchestrations, and clever arrangements. The greatness of (Damn) This Desert Air lays down in decades of experience, dedication, and knowledge. Nebulosity comes on a compact disc housed in a cardboard sleeve. It’s available at Engineer Records web store, so head over to their website and treat yourself with some magnificent alternative rock music.

-Djordje Miladinović

Fear and Loathing Fanzine:

This New Jersey-based band have produced something new that’s more than worthy of your attention and that’s the important thing. Opening track ‘Body Anchor’ recalls the best moments of Quicksand, or perhaps somewhere midway between Helmet and Seaweed (if you don’t remember those bands, stop reading this and check them out now!) Taking an intense delivery but tempering it with melodic, catchy undertones, DTDA produce songs that are equally capable of drawing you into their emotive drama and blowing your senses away. Although very much a hard rock and punk scenario, there are also hints of REM and Mission of Burma deep in this mix, adding an unexpected but perfectly matched approach to proceedings. Featuring four great tracks, each with their own character and atmosphere, there’s plenty to enjoy on this release and even the ballad-like closing song ‘Cauterize’ has an underlying edge that will leave its’ mark on your sub-consciousness. This is contemporary rock as it ought to be, genuine, musical and creative. Be sure to check this out. ​

-Andy FNL

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