I like all sorts of Rock and Metal and I’ve covered quite a wide spectrum in my blogs so far this year. I do have a real soft spot for Stoner Rock though. Stoner (or Desert music as it’s sometimes referred to) originated out in California a couple of decades ago in…wait for it…the desert! Just to wrap the name game up, yeah it’s also often played and listened to by folks who like to indulge in weed too.
The blueprint for the sound was first pioneered by Cali bands such as Kyuss and Fu Manchu. As with many genres of rock and metal the sound owes a lot to those original stoners, Black Sabbath. In fact if you listen to Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ or ‘Volume 4’ albums, they will tell you most of what you need to know about where desert music was inspired.
Slow, bass heavy, sometimes doomy, sometimes more upbeat Desert music isn’t that far away from most hard rock bands out there really. What gives the music style some of its own identity is how loose it is often played. There are plenty of long feedback filled jams, fuzzy guitar sounds that mainstream bands would run a mile from and a general easy going vibe running through the music. It has the power to take you to a warmer chilled out place wherever you may be.
As I say, I’ve been a fan for a long time of bands such as Kyuss, Slo Burn, Nebula and my favourite stoners Karma to Burn. I’ve often watched videos on YouTube and turned green with envy at those lucky so-and-so’s in Holland who have a whole festival dedicated to Stoner music. Even if you wanted and could go to the Roadburn festival it usually sells out in less than fifteen minutes though, so it’s still tricky to organise.
However, things are looking up…
Sticking out like a sore thumb from the endless array of festivals cropping around the UK is Desert Fest. The UK’s answer to Roadburn is crammed full of Stoner and Doom for a full three days over the Easter weekend in Camden. Headline spots are occupied by Orange Goblin, Corrosion of Conformity and (shrieks) Karma to Burn. There will be 50 or more bands announced by the time Easter comes around all from the world of Desert/Stoner music.
Here are my Top 5 bands to catch at Desert Fest:
- 1. Karma to Burn (obvs…)
- 2. Orange Goblin
- 3. Church of Misery
- 4. Gentleman’s Pistols
- 5. Sons of Alpha Centuri.
I can’t think of a better way to spend the Easter Weekend, no amount of Eggs could make up for missing this!