Monday, November 27, 2006

Sounds Of The Stoner

Stoner Rock/Metal can be very hard to define because, by its very name, it suggests the musicians who play in this style are all 'stoned' on cannabis - they may well be but this is not what the genre is about. The name is derived more from the actual sound of the bands. Their sound is generally linked to the bands' Kyuss and Black Sabbath, with Kyuss, along with The Masters of Reality, being considered the pioneers of modern stoner rock. Artists such as Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Stooges are usually described as the influences for the ‘stoner rock sound’ but this would once again generalise the genre which can take on many forms.

Certain linking aspects of the genre are the low end distortion driven guitar riffs, complimented with low end bass. Usually singing styles have more in common with grunge vocals rather than the screams and growls of Heavy Metal, to which Stoner Rock is often falsely compared. There are three main varieties of Stoner Rock/Metal: Desert Rock which includes bands such Kyuss, Queens of The Stone Age, Fu Manchu, and earthlings? These bands usually have
heavy Latin influences, repetitive drum beats and heavy bass driven riffs. Masters of Reality fall into this category but also falls into the retro psychedelic rock area of Stoner Rock along with bands such as Wolfmother, Parchman Farm and Colour Haze. These bands hark back to the more psychedelic riff laden bands of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Of a heavier nature are the doom/stoner rock/metal bands such as Spirit Caravan, The Sword and Electric Wizard. These bands have very heavy Black Sabbath esque riffs and are usually more ‘metal’ in their nature.

It is impossible to really classify Stoner Rock/Metal; above I have really just tried to give a reference to the different sounds that can be encountered within the genre and the bands you should listen to as starter points to enjoy the genre.


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