This year I’ve listened to hundreds of stoner albums, some beautiful, others pleasant, many without particular elements of interest. And now that 2017 is approaching its conclusion, I’ve collected a bunch of the best tracks released throughout the years and created this mixtape you can easily access from the widget. Enjoy the music and scroll down for a few additional information on the bands contributing to the playlist.
The first two songs of the compilation are taken from To The Road, the debut album by the motorcycle stoner rock band As They Come, from Portugal. This funny but talented quartet from São João da Madeira is active since 2012 and published a couple of years ago their first homonymous EP. The songs of their full-lenght work are characterized by a quite easy approach to stoner, with direct and essential rhythms and texts, without too many conceptual frills. What you don’t miss in their songs, however, is the incredible load of adrenaline and energy that fills every second of the record. That’s a very interesting and surprising debut LP and this band is Worth to be traacked in their next steps.
“Two musicians, one loop station, a synth and a couple of guitar amps”. This is Cairo Knife Fight, the rock music duo originating from New Zealand consisting of Nick Gaffaney (who’s also the founder of the band) and George Pajon. With a musical style that that fits into an ideal meeting point between Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails, the music from Cairo Knife Fight pushes the boundaries of conventional stoner and embraces inputs and elements from many additional genres. Their new album, Seven, was written and recorded in only 8 eight days and in fact it summarizes in itself all the beauty (but also the limits) of an instinctive and spontaneous writing.
Emperor of Sand, the most recent LP released by American legendary stoner band Mastodon, is one of the best metal publications of the year and, as such, they couldn’t miss in this stoner compilation. This LP is characterized by highly heterogeneous pieces, from the most catchy and lively stoner rock of Precious Stone (included in the mix) to the more sludgy and southern atmospheres of the other songs of the album. Following the release of the LP, the band has published on last September a short and controversial 4-songs EP, named Cold Dark Place, where the rockers from Atlanta experiment with a more conceptual psychedelic rock, with results well below expectations.
Another band which likes merging modern stoner rock with influences from the 70’s is Sasquatch, the trio of stoners from Los Angeles which released this year the fifth LP of their appreciated discography. The new album, named Maneuvers, features the work of their new drummer, Craig Riggs, and it’s also the band’s most concise work to-date. The retro-stoner of Sasquatch is catched in the mixtape with Rational Woman, the track which opens the album and also one of the most captivating songs of the new work.
Another representative of the new generations of stoners is given by Bang Bangalow, a crazy band arriving from Milan, in Italy. This quartet of heavy metallers define themselves as a band “moulded by different musical experiences: death metal, grindcore, hardcore and post-rock” and with the objective of “playing hard, heavy and dirty rock and roll with the most genuine attitude as possible”. Their immediate and a little raw approach to music may be fully recognized in Nice Job, the second and last full-lenght album they have just released, and which can be also acquired for free on bandcamp.
The compilation of the best stoner of the year couldn’t miss an excerpt from Rough Times, the new album by Kadavar, which is another of those groups that draws heavily in that unbridgeable basin that is given by the music of the 70s. The retro/rock played by the trio of German rockers is so absolutely pure and faithful to its model of origin that occasionally loses a bit of vigor and effectiveness. There are however some songs in this work that stand out among the best stoner songs we have heard this year, like the title track that has been included in the mixtape.
American rock band Cortez, from Boston, released this year their second full-lenght album, The Depths Below, which represents a peculiar version of stoner rock with many catchy elementes and evident influences from heavy rock and grunge. The LP arrives five years after their homonymous debut album, and somehow repeats the same recipe of groovy riffs alternated with more slower melodies. The final result is definitely interesting, mostly thanks to the impressive performance of vocalist Matt Harrington.
Sleeping Through The War by All Them Witches has been one of the first albums to be recommended this year. Starting from the very first track of the LP we are drawn into the obscure and melancholy territory created by the he American stoner band, full of psychedelic references grafted into the roots of catchy melodies and stoner sounds. Sleeping Through The War is representative of the more intimate and poetic side of stoner rock, as shown by Am I Going Up, which is also the song chosen to close the compilation.