Boasting two original Kyuss alums in their ranks, the inevitable comparison to that legendary Desert Rawk outfit is bound to happen but when it comes to STÖNER and artists that are on par, it might be more apt to look at Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork’s respective projects since (Read: Post ’90’s) for a better idea of what this new trio (With Ryan Gut on drums to round out the band) is all about. Think Vista Chino. Think Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band. Think Mondo Generator. Getting the general idea? Great! Because what you’re about to hear in the following seven tracks mashes all those expectations up and elevates it to a new sonic plane.
But I digress!
“Rad Stays Rad” is a definitive mood setter of what’s to come. Where as that other band relied on producing massive walls of sound to set a tone, STÖNER favors a feeling and an inherent groove to get things going on Stoners Rule as this fuzzy and laid back vibe takes a note from the dudes who formed that rhythmic foundation on “Freedom Run” over twenty years ago and, ahem, run with it to form something, dare I say, even better.
With Bjork’s smooth as silk vocal delivery leading most of the songs here, STÖNER immediately stands out while imparting some words of wisdom during “The Older Kids” with Gut’s incessant hits sticking the landing each and every time, ahem, stick hits drum head as Oliveri’s bass weighs in heavily throughout. “Own Yer Blues” is like a sonic excursion into Blues land as Bjork’s croon creates a completely new listening experience echoed by his soulful guitar lines and at barely two and half minutes, lead single “Nothin'” is a concise little Rawker and the perfect primer to the STÖNER world.
Oliveri’s uncanny pipes take over for the raucous “Evel Never Dies” with his bass bouncing off of Gut’s licks before heading into a fabulous jam session to close the track out while “Stand Down” is instantly timeless, sitting on an album that kind of transcends the genre Oliveri and Bjork helped usher into existence. Capping off this tremendous debut is a 13 minute tour-de-force called “Tribe/Fly Girl” that’s like the Allman Brothers jamming in Sky Valley and pretty much encapsulates everything that makes STÖNER righteously rad.
Stoners Rule arrives on June 25th via Heavy Psych Sounds. Pre-orders are available now and can be found when you head here or here. For more on STÖNER, including just announced live dates with Clutch in the fall, follow the socials by clicking here, here, or here.