Review: Stöner come up half-baked as they run out of puff

Desert rock legends Stöner fail to live up to their own billing on Boogie To Baja EP

Stöner: Boogie To Baja cover art
(Image: © Heavy Psych Sounds)

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Stöner may reunite desert rock pioneers Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork, but also serve as a cautionary tale for expecting greatness based purely on pedigree. 

Between the fuzzed-up blues of 2021's Stoners Rule and the hypnotic grooves of the following year's Totally, the band found a comfortable spot that, while placid, still delivered 70s-style good-times. 

Boogie To Baja shows little of that. Of its five tracks, only two feel like more than half-baked clichés – Night Tripper Vs No Brainer and the title-track both delivering the ethereal jams that made the desert rock scene so beloved.

These are counteracted by uninspired instrumentals elsewhere; the City Kids cover (likely meant as a salute to Motorhead) is somehow more lethargic than even the Pink Fairies’ original, while the befuddled instrumental opener plays out like a Cheech and Chong skit, forgetting that the other iconic stoner pair at least had Earache My Eye to showcase their prowess. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.