Clever novelty leads aside, Desert Dragon rocks. It’s that simple. Their latest release, Desolation, offers but a taste of their tuneful talents. But first, for those not up on their indie artists, Desert Dragon consists of lead singer Ross Petrarca, guitarist Greg Patnode (Road Angel, No Morals), guitarist Thiago Straioto, bassist Rick Brandt, keyboardist Daniele De Cario (Le Reverie) and drummer Nick Manson.
The 3-track disc opens with “Darkness Shines”. This is an energetic enough intro to their signature sound but yet doesn’t fully encompass their compositional capabilities. The placement of this track may very well have been due to Patnode’s personal preferences. He likes to put his best foot forward first and notes that he likes to open shows with "’Darkness Shines’ because it was on Billboard and uses the Fernandez guitar.”
The second selection is “Miles Away”. This, too, is an original song. Like the lead-in this is yet another song that works well live. Petrarca prefers this song as one of the first two songs on their playlist because as he says "That's an ass kicker".
The closing cut is “Bring Back The Life”. Every band needs a number like this and as the album end-note it just might follow the show biz belief: “Always leave them wanting more.”
Straioto has his favorites as well. He enjoys playing the Les Paul on the intros and playing the three original tunes "Texas Border", “Save My World" and "Desert Horizons" in a row. He recalls a prior performance: “Reaction from the crowd at the Roxy was as if you could hear a pin drop and quiet stares of anticipation of what the band will do next. It was like we had them in the palm of our hands with those songs. These three are from the first CD Desert Dragon but revised for a more hard rock sound including long guitar intros.”
Manson is praised for his drum work on the band’s song "Life's Tough" and remembers he “got a lot of comments” on his drumming at The Roxy “so that stays in the set” as far as he is concerned. Patnode adds that their one popular cover, “’Comfortably Numb’ is a definite mainstay if there is time as one of our influences is Pink Floyd.”
The songs on Desolation are pretty much playlist staples when Desert Dragon hits the road. They know their material and they know what works for them when they play live.
(In fact, Desert Dragon's current tour has them playing in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 10 after which they will be in El Paso, Texas on March 11, Austin, Texas on March 13 and Mesilla, New Mexico on March 14. They wrap it up in Tuscon, Arizona on March 15.)