In the last few years when festivals like Desertfest, Roadburn and Temples have helped to solidify the relevance of desert rock, stoner and psych, one of the UK’s most promising stoner acts have been tenderising their debut release off the back of two ear-pricking EPs and some incendiary live performances.
_ Slab City_ is the result of Steak’s hard graft but, unlike the gritty slog of last year’s Corned Beef Colossus EP, their full-length takes us on a new trip where the mind-expanding chime that punctuates opener Coma sets the tone for a cosmic journey. Overall this is raw stuff, full of primal screams, fuzzed guitars and rumbling bass not unlike Kyuss, Gonga and Truckfighters but it is not a simplistic piece of work. The elongated lead guitar hooks pull any earthy inclinations into the stratosphere, such as on the haunting slow-burner Liquid Gold and the pumping whirr of Machine. Stoner rock is an opportunity to lose yourself in the moment, buoyed by consciousness-expanding rhythms and the slow convulsion of medium-rare riffs, and Slab City is a good place to start.