Stöner, Stoners Rule (Heavy Psych Sounds Records 2021)

The natural progression from Live In The Mojave Desert is Stöner’s first studio album, Stoners Rule.

If you like stoner metal/rock then you like what the musicians in this new band do because Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri pioneers of the sound and style. Both are founding members of Kyuss and, along with Ryan Güt, they are putting down the smoothest desert stoner groove there is.

The new album was recorded last Fall in Joshua Tree, California, and it sounds like it. You can feel the desert insisting and infusing and simply being there when you listen.

There are seven laid-back tracks on Stoners Rule, covering a range of subjects that appear to have emerged from the flowing consciousness that overtakes you in the desert under the right circumstances. In each, a steady bed of rhythm provides a solid base for vocal and guitar explorations.

“Rad Stays Rad” and “Nothin’” are the first songs that made their way into the airwaves and cyber pathways. They are good representations of the music on the album. I have an affection for “Stand Down” for the way it rambles, and you cannot miss the thirteen-minute closer, “Tribe / Fly Girl” that one takes a deep dive into your psyche. The lead guitar is a mystical spell spoken in six strings that transports you far away from anything that was bothering you on this earthly plane.

Stöner is on tour with Clutch (and King Buffalo in the northeast) this Fall – you don’t want to miss this show if you are a heavy music fan. Let’s go.

Stoners Rule is out now from Heavy Psych Sounds Records with the quick digital at the ready from Bandcamp. Highly recommended.





Heavy Psych Sounds Records,

Stöner, Stoners Rule (Heavy Psych Sounds Records 2021)

The Atomic Bitchwax, Scorpio review (Tee Pee Records 2020)

The New Jersey groove metal trio celebrates beyond the twenty year mark of TAB with the band’s eighth full-length studio album, Scorpio.

I became acquainted with The Atomic Bitchwax segue Monster Magnet. Indeed the current line-up of Chris Kosnik, Garrett Sweeny, and Bob Pantella all play in Monster Magnet now, too. TAB material is different, though, being more jam-like, bluesy, and improvisational-feeling…and with a lot more lead guitar work than Monster Magnet.

The first TAB album came out in 1999, and the second was released the following year. For some time after that, commitments to other bands and a little line-up shuffling lead to an irregular recording schedule. But in 2015 there was Graviton, and in 2017 there was Force Field, and now there is Scorpio.

The new album is ten meaty cuts, starting with a reworking of one of the band’s earliest songs, “Hope You Die.” The new version has a fuller sound with the treble dialed down a mite. The groove metal is on full display from beginning to end. I have always had a soft spot for instrumentals and we get three this time: “Ninja,” “Crash,” and “Instant Death.” Damn can they rip out a jam! Could-be radio songs are there, too, like “Easy Action” – “Let’s get some satisfaction / Any kind of easy action.” I hear you. And “Super Sonic.” And “Betting Man.” This is rock and roll as far as I am concerned. One of the weirdest things about my life in music is I have never seen TAB live. I am all about fixing that. Wherever they are at next, I will be in the front row.

Scorpio is out on Friday, August 28th from Tee Pee Records at all the usuals. There is no way I can recommend this as much as it deserves and as much as I want. Go get it now. Highest recommendation.


The Atomic Bitchwax, Scorpio review (Tee Pee Records 2020)