Stoner rock

Stoner rock

Infobox Music genre
name =Stoner rock
bgcolor =crimson
color =white
stylistic_origins =1960s
Psychedelic rock
Acid rock
Heavy metal
Doom metal
cultural_origins =Early 1990s, California
instruments =Electric guitar (often using fuzz, phaser, flanger etc) - Bass guitar - Drums
popularity =Regional success during the 1990s. Some global success during the 2000s.
derivatives =
subgenres =
fusiongenrelist =Fusion genres
fusiongenres =Stoner sludge
regional_scenes =
other_topics =

Stoner rock and stoner metal are interchangeable terms describing sub-genres of rock and metal music. It combines elements of psychedelic rock, blues-rock and doom metal. Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo and features low-tuned guitars, a bass-heavy sound, [cite web
url =,
title = Rockdetector – Kyuss biography
accessdate = 2007-12-10
author = Garry Sharpe-Young
last = Sharpe-Young
first = Garry
publisher = Rockdetector
quote = [Kyuss] almost single handed invented the phrase ‘Stoner Rock’. They achieved this by tuning way down and summoning up a subterranean, organic sound…
] melodic vocals, and 'retro' production.cite web
url =
title = Stoner Metal
accessdate = 2007-12-10
author =
publisher = Allmusic
quote = Stoner metal could be campy and self-aware, messily evocative, or unabashedly retro.
] The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered foremost by the Californian bands Kyuss and Sleep. [cite web
url =
title = Kyuss biography
accessdate = 2007-12-10
author = Eduardo Rivadavia
publisher = Allmusic
quote = …they are widely acknowledged as pioneers of the booming stoner rock scene of the 1990s…
] cite web
url =
title = Sleep biography
accessdate = 2008-07-21
author = Eduardo Rivadavia
publisher = Allmusic


The progenitors of stoner rock, like their followers today, often share the characteristic that they and their audiences are recreational users of marijuana, or "stoners". While it would be grossly inaccurate to describe all fans and performers of stoner rock as marijuana users, it is certainly accepted that the effects of marijuana and the downtuned, slow, and psychedelic riffs of stoner rock complement one another — which eventually led to the common usage of the term "stoner rock" or "stoner metal" to define the genre.

This kind of connection between music and the use of drugs is not unique in music culture. Similar comparisons can be made between dance music and recreational drugs such as ecstasy. Various musicians who identify themselves as marijuana users (notably Pantera, who have included cannabis logos on their merchandise) do not qualify as "stoner rock" as the style of their musical output is largely outside the genre.

Due to the similarities between stoner and sludge metal, there is often a crossover between the two genres. This hybrid has traits of both stylescite web|url=| title=Bongzilla - "Gateway"
author=Serba, John | quote=…sounding like a cross between Sleep's drowsy, Black Sabbathy meanderings and Electric Wizard/Burning Witch-style gut-curdling, muddy sludge.
work=Allmusic| accessdate=2008-09-02
] cite web|url=| title=Kylesa
author=Mason, Stewart | quote=…elements of hardcore punk, psychedelic stoner rock, technical speed metal, and good old-fashioned Black Sabbath sludge appear in their music.
work=Allmusic| accessdate=2008-09-02
] but generally avoids stoner metal's positive atmosphere and its usage of psychedelia. Bands such as Bongzilla,cite web|url=| title=Bongzilla
author=Rivadavia, Eduardo | work=Allmusic| accessdate=2008-09-01
] Weedeater,cite web|url=| title=Weedeater
author=Rivadavia, Eduardo | work=Allmusic| accessdate=2008-09-01
] High on Firecite web|url=| title=High on Fire - "Surrounded by Thieves"
author=Violante, Isaiah | quote=…manufacturing that sludgy, choleric sound…
work=Pitchfork Media| accessdate=2008-09-01
] [ [, Rockdetector: High on Fire biography] ] and Electric Wizard have been reported to fuse both styles.cite web|url=| title=Electric Wizard
author=Rivadavia, Eduardo and Koets, Tara | quote=…it so effortlessly bridged the stylistic gaps between doom, sludge, stoner, horror, and, at times, even space metal…
work=Allmusic| accessdate=2008-09-02


Influences (1960s–1980s)

Like most subgenres of music, the origins of stoner rock are hard to trace and pinpoint. It can be said, however, that when mainstream culture co-opted blues, rock and roll was divided in to two sects: fast and slow.fact|date=July 2008 Stoner rock is the slower and often based in minor keys.fact|date=July 2008 These two elements give stoner rock its specific tinge.fact|date=July 2008 Nevertheless, stoner rock has its known progenitors and signature songs that helped shape the genre. English heavy metal band Black Sabbath hold a significant place in the evolution of stoner rock.

Although Black Sabbath were one of the first bands to popularize this type of music, they were not the first to produce it, nor can they be accurately described as a stoner band. Various 60's and 70's bands experimented with guitar sounds that inspired future generations, with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin firmly among them. Hendrix's "Band of Gypsys" pumped out riff-laden, jam session type tunes with obvious psychedelic overtones, while Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" displayed a lighter side to the emerging genre. However, it wasn't until after the electropop of the 80's and eventually grunge of the early 90's had taken the stage that people noticed a new style of music was being created from elements of different genres. Allmusic summarizes this fusion as follows:

Stoner metal bands updated the long, mind-bending jams and ultra-heavy riffs of bands like Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Blue Öyster Cult, and Hawkwind by filtering their psychedelia-tinged metal and acid rock through the buzzing sound of early Sub Pop-style grunge.

Early development (1990s)

During the early–mid 1990s, a number of Californian bands developed the style that would be called stoner rock. In 1992, Kyuss emerged from the Palm Desert Scene with "Blues for the Red Sun", which is often regarded as the first stoner rock/metal album. Critics have hailed it as "a major milestone in heavy music,"cite web
last = Rivadavia
first = Eduardo
title = Kyuss Biography
publisher = Allmusic
url =
accessdate = 2007-07-15
quote = Although they are widely acknowledged as pioneers of the booming stoner rock scene of the 1990s, the band enjoyed little commercial success during their brief existence […] . Soon hailed as a landmark by critics and fans alike, the album (Blues for the Red Sun) took the underground metal world by storm and established the signature Kyuss sound once and for all: […] .
] while NME described their music as an attempt to figuratively melt "a hundredweight of hot desert sand into metal". [ [ Kyuss - Muchas Gracias: The Best Of - Album Reviews - NME.COM ] ] In 1993, San Jose doom metallers Sleep released their album "Sleep's Holy Mountain". It became a favourite of the heavy metal press and the band was heralded, along with Kyuss, as leaders of the emerging stoner scene. These two bands were the first to introduce a "trippy" groove to their doom-influenced sound. [ [, Rockdetector - Kyuss biography] ] In 1994, San Francisco's Acid King and Britain's Acrimony released their debut albums, both of which adopted this psychedelic approach to doom metal. The latter are regarded as pioneers of the British stoner scene. [ [ Leafhound Records - Acrimony biography] ]

Since Kyuss' break-up, the success of the bandmates' other projects has caused the Kyuss back catalogue to become more widely listened to and their fanbase has inevitably swelled. The sound has been continued on by directly descendant bands Unida, Slo Burn, Hermano, Mondo Generator, Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork and the Bros, and at times by Queens of the Stone Age, who have since largely departed from Kyuss' stoner rock sound.

Today (2000s)

Today, not many bands associated with stoner rock enjoy mainstream success. In the United States, bands affiliated with the genre, such as Monster Magnet, Queens of the Stone Age and Clutch remain popular in the mainstream.fact|date=July 2008 Elsewhere, Canada's sHEAVY and Priestess, USA's Nebula, Sweden's Spiritual Beggars, Britain's Orange Goblin, and Germany's Colour Haze enjoy consistent regional support,fact|date=July 2008 while Australia's Wolfmother have achieved international success. [cite web
url =
title = Wolfmother biography
accessdate = 2007-07-15
author = Eduardo Rivadavia
last = Rivadavia
first = Eduardo
publisher = Allmusic
quote = Wolfmother made the jump to the majors in early 2006 courtesy of an American distribution deal for Modular through Interscope. Their self-titled album debut appeared in May and reached the Top 40


See also

* Palm Desert Scene
* Doom metal

External links

* [ Allmusic entry for Stoner metal/rock]
* [ - websource devoted to Stoner Rock]

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