Preview: Stoner Rock
The greatest genre in the entire world is one which many have little experience with; Stoner rock. It’s a style of music which has very few definite articles; at one edge you have psychedelic, technical acts like Monster Magnet or my personal band of 2010 Sungrazer and on the other you have deep, sludgy behemoths such as Electric Wizard and legends of the genre Sleep. Even within stoner rock there are tonnes of sub-genre’s, fuzz, psychedelic, desert and sludge to name but a few, and as spring approaches, some of the finest examples of these bands are rolling through Manchester. So here’s a preview of the four gigs to look out for if the words stoner and rock sound good to you.
First into town on Thursday 10th February at the Moho, and laying more toward the sludge end of the scale is the crushingly heavy juggernaut that is Kylesa. Promoting latest release Spiral Shadow, a five piece from Georgia might not sound like much, but consider this. Between them, there are two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, two main vocalists (one male, one female), a backup vocalist and an occasional keyboardist. It’s this intensity and tightness as a unit that enables them to deliver such a monumental sound and the range of vocals which gives them such an original sound. Lovers of the heavy should be there.
Following up on Wednesday 2nd March at Club Academy are Fu Manchu, celebrating the 15th anniversary of their first major album In Search Of… by playing it in full, alongside a few of the fan favourites from other releases. Catching on to the skate culture in 90’s America, Fu Manchu might not have kept a consistent line-up through the years, but they’ve certainly kept a consistent sound, occasionally having a more traditional rock feel than their contemporaries. The fact that the night will open with the monster ‘Regal Begal’ should be enough to sell you a ticket in one.
For many in Manchester, Tuesday 5th April at Academy 1 will be marked in their calendars as the biggest night of the year, as the godfathers of stoner rock return to our shores. A three quarters reunited Kyuss will hit the stage as Kyuss Lives!, albeit minus original guitarist Josh Homme (yes, that Josh Homme.) Whilst he may not want to revisit the past, John Garcia, Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork and new guitarist Bruno Fevery will be doing. Whilst some seem sceptical about a Kyuss without Homme, you will be in for a treat as three of the finest musicians of a genre finally give us a taste of the desert again after fifteen years of absence.
Finally into town on Thursday 28th April at Moho, another newly reunited band, Corrosion of Conformity hope to recapture that early sound that I’ve missed for so long. Reuniting under their 1985 Animosity era line-up, rather than that they put on hiatus in 2006, CoC are sure to be playing some of the older, more metal based songs that haven’t been played in years as well as songs from the anticipated 8th studio album. It’s sure to be a treat and genuine limited event, as this three piece may become the full four at any point. You’d be a fool to miss.
So there you have it, four shows coming in the next twelve weeks that should not be missed if you’re a seasoned stoner rock vet or even if you only want to see what the hell I’m hyping up. They could be the best four gigs you see in Manchester this year.
Tom Geddes Music Editor