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Posts Tagged ‘stoner rock’

Supergroup Them Crooked Vultures comprise Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones. Nine years earlier, the coming together of a grunge outcast, a savior of stoner rock and the son of one of the greatest bassists ever could have meant great things for rock and roll. Today, it amounts to little else than a consistent rock and roll album. Their debut album, despite its southern fried anthems, a couple of solos that should have little straitjackets dangling by the guitar chord to contain their ferocity and one of the coolest album covers of 2009, humbles itself in front of the altar of the almighty groove.  While songs like the sleazy and sweaty Scumbag Blues or the decidedly indie Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up make me want to believe in Them Crooked Vultures, the rest just meanders, endlessly flirting with stoner rock and garage rock and roll. I’ll just wait for another Josh Homme Desert Sessions mixtape to whet my appetite for rock and roll’s eventual resurrection.

*****

Truth be told, Pearl Jam are the most successful emo band ever. We don’t like to admit it because of our tryst with their music. Don’t worry, my minions, we have all clutched our pillows, and drowned ourselves in tracks like Animal, Alive and Even Flow to escape the tedium of wading through post-pubescent tears. Still, go back and listen to your favourite Pearl Jam songs and listen real close. Sshhhhhh. Can you hear it? Hopelessly romantic lyrics, monotonous riffs, crispy clean guitar solos and socially-responsible drumming. Case in point, the weeping Black, one of those songs that I, along with my friends, have out-drank pirates, Vikings and Malayalees to. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the song ends with Eddie Vedder crying out “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a sun in somebody else’s sky, but why whyyyyy, whyyyyyyyyy can’t it be, can’t it be mine?” followed by the rest of the band vocally harmonizing with a fading solo. If that’s not emo, I don’t know what the fuck is, man.

*****

My fondness for heavy metal went for a ride in a hearse three years ago. I haven’t heard from it since then. With my favourite metallers Sepultura and Pantera calling it quits, Machine Head discovering musical horizons that are quite frankly beyond their natural abilities, and Ozzy Osbourne becoming a parody of the parody he was a decade ago, Slayer is now the only metal band I still listen to. See, Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo have been creating gnarly, blood-soaked metal for years; they just might be one of the most consistent metal bands out there right now. While God Hates Us All remains Slayer’s most impressive case study of this  evolved sound, their new album World Painted Blood finds them in supreme form, as they churn out skull-crushing anthems against a hateful world that has wronged them by offering all the intoxicants they could dream of, lucrative record deals, mainstream popularity, free guitars and respect from their friends and peers. No wonder they are so pissed off. Cynicism besides, Playing With Dolls is the best they have sounded since the wickedly groovy Bloodline from GHUA.

Watch

Them Crooked Vultures – Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up

Pearl Jam – Love Reign Over Me (The Who cover)

Slayer – Playing With Dolls

Buy

Them Crooked Vultures’ debut album

Sleepless In Seattle: Birth Of Grunge

Slayer’s World Painted Blood

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It’s not often that Heavy Metal drawls seductively with me. But I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t pleasurable. And the stoner rock genre thankfully is one, which gratuitously makes room for such complexities.

Jersey Shore-based metallers Solace comprise of deserters from unknown, no-nonsense bands such as Glueneck, Prunella Scales, Lethal Aggression and the supremely cool Godspeed. They are primarily a stoner metal band with thrash influences and psychedelic overtones.

The single “Mother Godzilla” starts off with piercing riffs and thundering percussion blasts and the assault continues until the 1.00-minute mark. And then the listener is treated to whirling, almost drunken guitar solos backed by an unsettling groove that drives the song ahead into strange, beautiful patterns. At around the 6.00-minute mark, “Mother Godzilla” gives itself an adrenaline shot and all hell breaks lose.

The effect is both soothing and startling without missing a beat on either.

Suspicious Tower” sounds like a psychedelic meltdown with its stance on all things asinine further clarified by the vocalist kickstarting the song with a science fictional rant. “Your father and mother are electronic computers and neither are ideal components,” he says, before the track grabs hold of sanity and gets into a solid groove.

You probably won’t find Solace’s discography in your local music stores or in the archives of your friendly online neighborhood mp3 website. But you will find their music on the official Stoner Rock website. The audio quality might not be great, but the sonic audacity of bands featured on this website is blistering, to say the least.

Click on the MP3 Jukebox and feel free to roam the alien landscapes of stoner rock, groove metal, sludge and doom metal, and post-NWOBHM madness.

Download

Mother Godzilla – Solace

Suspicious Tower – Solace

Buy

Solace’s Further album

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Stoner rock sounds like the illegitimate child of Rock and Roll and New Wave British Heavy Metal. With colossal riffs, indecipherable acts of soloing, and gruff vocals, this genre is impossible to grasp without having harbored a bit of love to either of its parents. Post-modern blues is very likely it’s nanny since most of the stoner rock musicians incorporate a lot of atmospheric instrumentation that wouldn’t sound totally out of place at a Muddy Waters concert.

Psychedelia has its indelible mark on this genre too; with acid-tinged freestyle jams and fuzz pedals wah wahing themselves into the hearts of stoner rock icons such as Bjorn Bjork, John Garcia and Al Cisneros, one could argue that post-Sixties psychedelic rock also had a fair share in shaping this sound.

Stoner rock is a bastard; moody, passive angst-ridden and a child to unconfirmed parents. And it is created by garage musicians whose love for music is only rivaled by their love for marijuana. Go to stonnerock.com and check out their jukebox (hundreds of free downloads available).

Dopethrone by Electric Wizard

Also, check out

Sleep’s Dragonaut

Brant Bjork’s Beautiful Powers

Clutch’s Electric Worry

Kyuss’ Demon Cleaner

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