Fuzzed up London based Stoners Steak peddle a distorted sound that smacks you upside the head with its rumbling bass and muscular grooves. ‘Liquid Gold’ is built on walls of powerful desert style psychedelia with the eerie compressed vocals of Kippa adding a menace and paranoia to the trip which many acts have side stepped in favour of good-time party rock.
That’s not to say Steak don’t make an enjoyable headshaking racket. The nimble fretwork here recalls players like Nebula’s Eddie Glass with a molasses thick Sleep texture to the driving riffs that powers Slab City.
Like many Stoner releases it would have been impossible not to mention Kyuss but for John Garcia adding his distinctive vocals to album highlight ‘Pisser’. You can almost hear the smiles of the band members as Garcia’s unmistakable contributions gel with the delicious riffs.
That Harper Hug (Unida producer) and Garcia’s Unida bandmate Arthur Seay are involved in the recording makes for little surprise but while they clearly have friends in high places Steak’s songwriting is lean and trimmed of the indulgent jam sections which many act of this ilk languish in. It’s unashamedly retrospective in approach harking back to the late nineties in the same fashion which acts like Witchcraft take inspiration from the 60s and 70s. Secret track ‘Old Timer D.W.’ also features some nice Led Zep slide guitar.
Unquestionably metallic, there are no bluesy jams or instrumental break diluting the potency of their delicious riff driven assault. It’s uncomplicated and go for the throat approach won’t change the opinions of those not enthralled with stoner rock but one which fans of the acts referenced here will lap up.
‘Slab City’ won’t expand the profile of the genre but it is delivered with a loving and faithful zeal which you can’t help but fall for. Sure all the flavours of this platter will be instantly familiar with fans of the genre but no less juicy and tender. A lovely rendered depiction of the Palm desert filtered through gritty London charm Steak are doing what they love and doing it in style.
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WORDS ROSS BAKER