Wednesday 13 April 2022

STÖNER - "totally..." (Album Review)

Release Date: May 06th 2022. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

totally... - Tracklisting

Party March

A Million Beers

Strawberry Creek (Dirty Feet)

Spacedude & The Burn

Stöner Theme

Turn It Around Now

Driving Miss Lazy

Great American Sage


Brant Bjork - Guitar & Vocals

Nick Oliveri - Bass & Vocals

Ryan Güt - Drums 


STÖNER are back with their new album "totally..." and I have to say it's a much better record than their debut album in every way possible and I enjoyed their debut a great deal. Everything seems more focused here and perhaps more upbeat as well. STÖNER are still in the party mood with elements of 70's Classic Stoner Rock grooves and a great appreciation for WEEDIAN and SLACKER humour contained within their lyrics. Maybe inspired by "Cheech & Chong" on certain songs which some folks will definitely get a kick out of.

Opening Song Party March has a solid Stoner Rock vibe with a rebellious style of Punk Rock, Boogie Rock, Psych Rock and Classic Hard Rock being used as well. The dual vocals from Brant and Nick feel more like equal creative partners on this album with Nick still being the more rebellious part of the band. Ryan on drums is excellent as ever. The song is upbeat and rebellious with that old "KYUSS" magic being evident on this track but still with STÖNER being their own thing. A nice sideline of distorted grooves and a kick-ass singalong chorus appear towards the end of the song to allow "totally..." become an expected delight from here on in.

Second song A Million Beers carries on the "party" atmosphere of the album with a Low Desert Punk approach from the band. The song is quite fast-paced and spliced with perhaps semi-autobiographical lyrics from the band including some very cool "video game references' and experiences of starting a band in the 1980's. The song is another mix of snarling Punk Rock attitude though with modern flavours of Desert/Stoner Rock to give the song that extra bit of classy heaviness.

Third song Strawberry Creek (DIrty Feet) feels like it could have come from one of Brant's recent solo studio efforts but with Nick's rebellious charm making this a STONER song through and through. The song does move between Blues Rock and Psychedelic Stoner Rock atmospherics with a hazy 70's Rock flair. The lyrics are simply written but the excellent dual vocals from Brant and Nick allow this song to be one of the best tracks on the album. Classic Stoner Rock is the main order of business here with a song that never outstay its welcome.

Fourth song Space Dude & The Burn is the most spaced out and WEEDIAN based song on the album with the song running past the eight minutes mark. Seedy Desert Rock grooves interact with an almost gloomy psychedelic environment that crackles with pure FUZZ ROCK energy. The spiky lyrics are quite out there and rooted in 70's and 90's style Stoner Metal themes and ideas. The music can be quite distorted especially when STÖNER opt for a more "Amplifier" style of sound. This is my favourite song on the album as this is the band in full creative flight playing what they do best.

Fifth song Stoner Theme is a very loose and fast affair with the band playing one of the most interesting tracks on the album. The music is quite surreal but lives upto the 70's Stoner lifestyle with killer vocals and sound clips allowing this track to be one of the funniest tracks on the album. Expect heavy grooves that have float between Psychedelic weirdness and elements of classic Desert/Stoner Rock riffs.

There are three tracks left with Turn It Around Now, Driving Miss Lazy and Great American Sage rounding this album off with more top tier Desert Rock and Psych Stoner Rock sounds with funny lyrics to match especially on Driving Miss Lazy.

When you have two of the most legendary musicians from the Stoner Rock/Metal scene within your line-up then you expect a certain level of greatness. "totally..." is a rip-roaring musical adventure from Brant, Nick and Ryan all in brilliant form. The album is everything you could possibly want from a Desert Rock/Stoner Rock album such as this. 

As I said earlier in my review, "totally..." is a much better album than their debut record. STÖNER feel more comfortable with themselves on this album and it shows. Excellent songwriting, vocal performances and instrumental work will no doubt allow "totally..." to be one of the best and must have Stoner Rock/Metal albums of the year. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR and All Noir PR for the promo. 

"totally..." will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from May 06th 2022.


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