EP Review: Stöner – Boogie To Baja

EP Review: Stöner - Boogie To Baja
Reviewed by Matthew Williams

One of the musical highlights of 2022 for me, was the release of 'Totally...' by Stöner, the American rock fusion trio, comprising of ex Kyuss members Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri, and wonderfully assisted by Bjork’s solo band drummer, Ryan Gut. They played a few UK shows in the spring and I was lucky to be in the crowd watching them in Manchester and it was like a spiritual experience, as their sun-drenched grizzled bluesy rock flowed all night long, captivating and enchanting all in their presence.

So when this gem of an EP landed in my inbox, my face instantly lit up with memories of that album and that night, as during the recording of 'Totally...', the band were having such fun that the new music just kept rollin` so they decided to use these five songs to release an EP of further stoner cuts.

They go headlong into 'Stöner Theme (Baja Version)' which is a more laid back, if that’s even possible, instrumental version of track 5 from 'Totally...' featuring Mario Lalli, who adds a few more overlay guitars, to get the music off to a great opening. This is followed up by their version of the Motorhead/Pink Fairies classic 'City Kids', which features Greg Hetson of Circle Jerks and Bad Religion, and it just flows so, so well.

EP Review: Stöner - Boogie To Baja

Then comes the standout song of the EP for me, 'Night Tripper v No Brainer', and I struggle to understand why this was originally left off 'Totally...' as its simply brilliant, but at least it wasn’t left on the shelf forever, with the fuzzy downturned guitar sound really hitting hard, and its 7 mins 30 seconds of sheer bliss, allowing all members to demonstrate their undoubted musical talents.

'It Ain’t Free' is a more punky, raucous affair, showing the more aggressive side of the band, harder, faster, more uncompromising, before they blend a bit of psychedelic noise into the mix, and the song finishes on a hard hitting note. This leads into the final track, the 10 minute instrumental epic that is 'Boogie to Baja', a song that just goes off like a bottle of fine champagne, effortlessly flowing like a meandering river and has more twists and turns than a Steven King book. It’s a sumptuous song, showcasing just how brilliant this trio are. Stoner are a band that offer so much and consistently deliver music of the highest standard, so sit back and enjoy.

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