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Stoner rock
and stoner metal are interchangeable terms describing sub-genres of rock and metal music. Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo, low-tuned, and bass-heavy.[1] It incorporates elements of psychedelic rock, blues-rock and doom metal into a more repetitive and riff-centred style. Other common traits include melodic vocals and 'retro' production.[2] The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered by the Californian band Kyuss.[3]

Categorization and definition Edit

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 the styles and bands listed on this page as marijuana users, it is certainly accepted that the effects of marijuana and the often downtuned, slow, or psychedelic riffs of stoner rock complement one another — which eventually led to the common usage of the term "stoner rock" to define the genre, with "stoner metal" coming into use later when a heavier and slower style emerged. Stoner metal is often associated with marijuana use

Stoner rock is closely related to the term "desert rock", which was used to describe stoner pioneers Kyuss, from California's Palm Desert. While stoner rock is so closely related to desert rock as to be synonymous, stoner metal is related but not identical to sludge metal and doom metal.

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, most 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.

History Edit

Roots of stoner rock Edit

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. Stoner rock is the slower and often based in minor keys. These two elements give stoner rock its specific tinge. Nevertheless, stoner rock has its known progenitors and signature songs that helped shape the genre. The notoriously influential metal idols Black Sabbath — especially their song "Sweet Leaf" — were a significant force 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. All Music Guide summarizes this fusion as follows:

"Stoner metal bands updated the long, mind-bending jams and ultra-heavy riffs of bands like Black Sabbath, Screaming Trees, Corrosion for Conformity, Blue Öyster Cult, and Hawkwind by filtering their psychedelia-tinged metal and acid rock through the buzzing sound of early Sub Pop-style grunge."[4]
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