Blimey, talk about doing what it says on the tin! There’s no surprises here. Stoners Rule is a self-explanatory gem on which Stöner serve up a highly palatable platter of throbbing rhythmic neckbreakers.
You may like to visit your shed before flicking the switch on this pearler. Grab yourself a shovel and one of those blower things that posh-types use to hoover up leaves. There’ll come in handy, believe me.
This is the debut album from Stöner, made up of a triumvirate of highly respected artists who have been round the block so often they can find their way with their eyes shut.
This trio of desert rock rebels are so authentic they’ve probably got sand between their toes. Brant Bjork (ex Kyuss, Fu Manchu) is on guitar, Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, ex Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) is on bass with both men sharing vocals; Ryan Güt providing the percussive answers to whatever the other two serve up.
‘Rad Stays Rad’ is a fairly low-key opener, gently thrusting back and forth but not intrusively so. While certainly not a horizontal listen, it’s still a tantalisingly laid-back first roll of the dice.
The tempo starts to pick up on ‘The Older Kids’. At this point grab that shovel which you’ll need to extricate yourself from the cavernous groove you’re likely to find yourself falling into as Stöner’s veteran riff renegades start to execute their tricks as assuredly as a member of the Magic Circle.
‘Own Yer Blues’ is when you’ll need your leaf machine… to blow away the swirling fog that starts to fumigate through your speakers as Stoner light up a bong which you just can’t but help draw on. Scooby Doobie Do.
By now fully under the Stöner spell, the trio play a couple of shorter pacier pieces, latching onto an instant adrenalin hit in ‘Nothin’’ and then ‘Evel Never Dies’ in which Güt (also of Bjork’s solo band) gets to exercise his kit with a bit more zest.
Bjork and the seldom dull Oliveri are such consummate brethren that Stöner could hardly be anything other than a success. ‘Stand Down’ sees them exchange grooves as casually as flipping pancakes and they go on to put their seal on a polished debut with formidable album closer, ‘Tribe/Fly Girl’ a 13-minute languid desert hike in which they steadily build mesmerising riff cushions that are infinitely more relaxing than anything you’ll find at SCS.
Review by Paul Castles
Stoners Rule is released on 25 June via Heavy Psych Sounds.
- Rad Stays Rad
- The Older Kids
- Own Yer Blues
- Evel Never Dies
- Stand Down
- Tribe / Fly Girl