Without giving too much away, it’s fair to say that fans of Kyuss will experience a major sense of desert-based nirvana upon hearing Aphasia, the debut full length release from stoner crew, Stonus.
Fully loaded with deliciously prickly stoner rock riffs, Aphasia simply glides by on a nostalgia-inducing wave of fuzzy noise; ably aping the gods of scorched distortion (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet) without once sounding passe. Which is quite the achievement considering just how many stoner rock / metal albums have graced all our ears since Kyuss’ Blues for the Red Sun opened the floodgates back in 1992!
There’s an irony to Stonus labelling their debut ‘aphasia’ – the term refers to a brain injury which affects the ability to communicate – as Stonus are more than adept at delivering their message via carefully composed paeans to the early 90’s desert rock scene. Whether it’s the epic nature of 7 minute opener “Awake” – which starts off like The Beach Boys ‘go stoner’ before a Queens of the Stone Age-esque buzz kicks your teeth in – or the rumbling mid-pace of the glorious “Dead End” (listen to it below), Stonus keep the hit rate high and are consistently impressive throughout.
Heavy, fun, varied and accomplished, overall Stonus’ debut is a rock solid stoner metal / rock release and one that should immediately endear them to steadfast connoisseurs of the genre. 8/10
Electric Valley Records, Daredevil Records
Released on 6th March 2020