Top Stoner Rock Bands

What’s the best music to listen to after you burn down your trailer and ride off into the distance driving a dropped 74 El Camino while smoking a blunt? Without a doubt these moments call for a great dose of Stoner Rock. Popularized in the 70s with such heavy hitting stoner rock legends such as Hawkwind and The Blue Oyster Cult the genre has melded over the years into subgenres such as Sludge. In the playlist below I’ve decided to showcase some of those who have helped meld the genre over the years, as well as those who push the boundaries. So sit back and light one up as the warm distorted guitars and slow beats pound away.

Stoner rock or as it is often referred to as stoner metal is a subgenre which combines elements of traditional heavy metal, psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock, and doom metal. Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo and features a bass-heavy sound, melodic vocals, and ‘retro’ production.

The guitar riffs typical to stoner rock are based off of a somewhat blues like slow riff as well as a tri-tone element. In the video below you can see what’s musically happening by those wishing to learn how to play stoner rock, and come up with some of the very distinct guitar riffs. You can hear that the guitars are heavily fuzzed out and the riff borders on a chromatic blues progression.

The psychedelic band Blue Cheer are often cited as the first breakthrough Stoner Rock band. Their remake of summertime blues was a new and tripped out version of a song originally written in 1958. By remaking the song into a psychedelic menagerie they successfully broke the genre of space out stoner rock into the mainstream. This music scared the shit out of everyone’s parents back in 1968

The second genre of music which contributed greatly to the creation of stoner rock as a separate genre was the arrival of Doom Metal. Doom Metal typically relies on dreamy and slow melodic guitar riffs on top of a stumbling slow tempo. While Doom Metal typically has dark themes involving death and destruction, stoner rock tends to be more about space colonies and sci fi elements which tend to be more positive.

And here’s the monster playlist which you can listen to for yourself to get a good grasp of some of the most important stoner rock bands of the last half a century.

The playlist totals 1 hour and 53 minutes and includes the following tracks/bands
Om – Gebel Barkal 7″ (Full Ep) – Stoner/Doom Band
Lowrider – Upon the Dune
Electric Wizard – Funeralopolis
Mastodon – Dry Bone Valley [Official Video]
Nebula – To The Center
Wolfmother- Woman
Blind Dog – Beyond My Reach
Brain Police-Jacuzzi Suzy
DOWN – Witchtripper (new song )
Monster Magnet -Negasonic Teenage Warhead (with lyrics)
Space Cadet – Kyuss
Acid King – War of the Mind
Desert Sessions 9 & 10 Making Of
The Mushroom River Band – To The World Beyond
Orquesta del Desierto – Summer
Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator “Lie Decector”
Fu Manchu – King Of The Road
Hawkwind – Silver Machine
Blue Oyster Cult: Workshop of Telescopes
Sleep – Holy Mountain