Sunday, July 5, 2009

When Weed And Metal Goes Wrong

I originally approached this post about weed in metal like “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong” from the Chappelle Show. By that I mean, most of the time weed and metal is a great combo, however, when you fuck it up, you fuck it up so bad that it’s laughable and/or sad.

Truth be told I didn’t even consider the legions of stoner/sludge bands out there for this piece because, in honesty, I think it takes a true fan of the genre to separate the good from the bad and I’m no expert. What I did want to talk about is the everyday, run of the mill metal band and how they tried to tackle the topic of good ‘ol Mary Jane and failed big time.

Six Feet Under – ‘4:20’ (from the Warpath album) Where to begin with this song? First of all there should be a big red flag when a band predominantly does one style (here, it’s boring generic death metal of the horror/gore variety) and then throws a creative/artistic curveball. We can play that childhood game of “One of these things does not belong” to establish this point quite easily here with songs from the Warpath album:

  • Revenge of the Zombie
  • Burning Blood
  • War Is Coming
  • 4:20
  • Death Or Glory
  • Caged and Disgraced

I mean, '4:20' sticks out like a sore thumb amongst that line-up. But I’ll play the conservative role and elaborate further: look at the lyrics for God’s sake! “Let go of perception - enter true reality, A sea of green will set us free, Dank, Expand my inner being, Through what the Earth provides, I hear her voice calling, The hour has arrived...” Yeesh! This is coming from the man who penned lyrics to the song ‘Entrails Ripped From A Virgins Cunt’ so you do the math. I know what you’re thinking, “Chill out, it’s death metal anyway, so you can’t ever tell what he’s saying with those cookie monster vocals!” WRONG! He actually, uses some clean vocals in ‘4:20’. Ahem, Chris Barnes singing with clean vocals (how often do you see that in the same sentence…? Oh yea, and it actually being true?!?! That’s what I thought). Needless to say, the writing is pretty much on the wall with this one, Mr. Frontman got a little carried away with his weed habit and it seeped into Six Feet Under’s music. Since then, it’s been pretty much back to the death metal basics since then (about nine albums worth of it, yawn…) but what cemented this as a major weed and metal DON’T, is the fact that the song happens to be four minutes and twenty seconds long and was recorded on April 20th. I’m not even kidding. FAIL!


Black Label Society – ‘Stoned and Drunk’ (from the album The Blessed Hellride) This one I will admit I’m a little biased about, but I think it’s a valid reason. To again repeat myself, I think weed and metal can be a very winning combination, however, here it’s done ultra cheesy and white trashy. This band, and specifically this song is like the metalhead’s gateway drug to meth. Years ago, I was on a tour and Black Label Society was on the bill for the whole tour and I never saw so many white trash, missing teeth, redneck, ignorant fans. Full on there were so many of those terrible novelty shirts with a 1950’s era guy on it saying like ‘Marijuana! Hey, at least it’s not crack’ (ironically, most people wearing those kinds of shirts are the ones down to smoke some crack), or just blazing pot leafs, etc. It was like the dregs of society secretly had a subconscious war on weed and were trying to re-appropriate it as the idiot-class drug or something. Anyway, again, the lyrics are bad, but I think it’s the blatant Ozzy/Sabbath worship, particularly in the vocals, which drives me a little crazy. This is compounded by the fact that Sabbath wrote ‘Sweet Leaf’ – THE definitive weed and metal song of all time (speaking of which, check out Thou’s cover of ‘Sweet Leaf’, it’s so heavy it’s like, “Ouch!”), so BLS please distance yourselves a bit.


Brujeria – ‘Marijuana’ (from the Marijuana EP) This one kind of pains me to mention cause I love Brujeria. Musically, their satanic druglord shtick, I dig it all. However in 2000 they released an EP at the height of the ‘Macarena’ craze with their own reinterpretation. A few things wrong here: you CAN’T make that song NOT bad, so to give Brujeria some credit, the chips were stacked against them from the get-go. However, rather than give the song their typical death metal/grindcore delivery with Spanish lyrics, they actually incorporate some of the techno-salsa music of the original song. It’s a bad combo, very bad. Also, like the Six Feet Under selection earlier, lead vocalist Juan Brujo attempts a stylistic shift to using some of the more clean vocals, most notably when we sings the chorus “Heeeeeey Marijuana!”

(Stick to the satanic druglord death-grind please)


Dope – (Anything and everything they’ve ever done) Let’s make this a quick one, after all it’s easy like shooting fish in a barrel. First their name is Dope, and while I can respect the fact that, as their Wikipedia notes, they sold drugs to survive and purchase instruments, once you pigeon hole yourself to such a highly specialized niche, you’re instantly relegated to ONLY that small demographic (Bongzilla, is somewhat in a similar position, but they’re so tongue in cheek about it and I like their music better they get a pass). If they’re going for the mainstream thing on rock radio or whatever, they have their cheesy name and drug connection as a huge liability for success, but apparently they like it and are sticking to their guns (just like hordes of fantasy based power metal bands, never gonna get wide recognition, but are content to rock with the D&D lifestyle).

Beyond trying to piggy back the shock value of their drug referencing name, they also covered “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” on their first album, one of their minor claims to fame, which also landed on the American Psycho soundtrack.

And finally, look at their early 90s pseudo-industrial dreads (almost ten years after pioneering bands like Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy et al were just getting DONE with that style)… sigh.


Stay tuned! There could be other editions of ‘When Weed And Metal Goes Wrong’ in the future…

38 comments:

  1. Oddly, stoner metal is one of my favorite genre's going right now, but I don't smoke. I have nothing against it, just not my thing. (Jim Beam however....)

    The problem with pot songs are that it's near impossible to write anything new or intelligent about it.

    My usual reaction to someone preaching about pot is "Yeah, whatever hippy. Fill it up with unleaded"

    If you can pull off the 70's version of pot as "mystical journey" bullshit then you may be OK. Otherwise your stuck just trying to make a deep point about bong hits being rad, and I don't see ho you can without coming of like a retard.

    All the bands in this list are mediocre at best (Except Brujeria, who are untouchable) so it's hard to hold the bar very high for Chris Barnes.

    Are Dope even still around?

    BLS are not only the most over rated band on Earth, but they truly attract the lowest forms of dirtbag. (And I've toured with the Murder Junkies)

    The BEST thing they can do is write the most intentionally moronic lyrics possible, because big words aren't winning you any friends with the local BLS chapter. They make Pantera's audience look like they're at a Josh Groban show.

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  2. Holy shit, that Thou cover of Sweet Leaf is fucking huge sounding. I got their split with Black September a while ago, both good bands...
    here is the song:
    http://hypem.com/track/836520/Thou-Sweet+Leaf

    Acid Witch is one of my favorite sludgey type bands although they are predominantly doom/death. Regardless, they shred and everyone should listen to them.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. that dope band looks like they have a SEVERE case of RFD... so young...
    is that what indiana's like?
    mommy?

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  5. Once when I was young and buying shitty records, I got an order from Relapse in the mail. The package had a bunch of cheap 7" EPs in a thick padded envelope with "BONGZILLA" stamped on it. Needless to say, my mom gave me a dirty look when she received the package and I hated Relapse ever since (who the fuck listens to a band named "Bongzilla" anyway).

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    Replies
    1. Bongzilla kicks ass.

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  6. BLS are not only the most over rated band on Earth, but they truly attract the lowest forms of dirtbag. (And I've toured with the Murder Junkies)

    wowowowowow

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  7. When I started reading this I thought "the only band I hate more than Six Feet Under is Black Label Society!" and sure enough as I scrolled down...

    Dope band photos are hilarious, oh my god 1990's why must you mock me

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  8. m-i has love for thou? not expected.

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  9. Man, the Macarena craze was 96-97; that would have been so far behind the curve to do a play on it in 2000 that it would have just been pathetic. They should have been doing "Living La Vida Stona" or something.

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  10. As far as I remember, PANTERA had loads of merch with potleafs and stuff.
    And I don't like their music.

    Thought I'd just mention that.

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  11. I never thought I'd see the day that THOU were mentioned on Metal Inquisition. The best thing about their "Sweet Leaf" cover is that Bryan Funcke, their singer, is straight edge. No shit.

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  12. I have no idea who Thou is. Hipster/beardo shit I assume?

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    1. You are correct sir.

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  13. You should check Cannabis Corpse for next time.Every Bud Smoken lol

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  14. 4:20 may be a good stoner song with another singer.
    Chris Barnes was never good, even for doing generic death metal, and his lyrics aren't nothing special...from "Warpath" on he's also breathless. Too much pot.

    Oh, I should add that I hate "pot bands", like fukkin' PANCERA, but you already know that.

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  15. Thou is DEFINITELY hipster/beardo shit. Troll beards and troll hair. Tight jeans and gay night club raver button up shirts.

    I heard they started out as a 311 cover band before jumping on the doom band wagon. Never nudes!

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  16. Turns out that Brujeria EP came out in '97, per Encyclopaedia Metallum. So they were timely after all.

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  17. excellent DOPE reference. If anyone cares, and for some reason I imagine Sarge D does, dude from that band is currently on my favorite reality tv trainwreck--Daisy of Love

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  18. Here is a weed lyric of the Sacred Reich "heal" that falls into this head of weed and metal going wrong.

    Sometime I like to kick back
    Hit the fridge have a little snack
    Grab the paper see whats on the tube
    Stretch out and smoke a fat dube

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  19. Real life weed & metal story: a few summers ago I saw Slayer at the PNC Center in NJ. Zakk Wylde was sitting directly in front of me, decked out in full BLS regalia. He was smoking what had to be the skinniest pinner joint I have ever seen, there was maybe ten cents worth of weed in there. Anyway, he dropped it on the disgusting sticky floor, then picked it back up and continued smoking it. I was skeeved out. Plus he's like five feet tall, ya know.

    Another true dope/metal tale: in 1986 I saw Exodus in NYC and this dude we were with knew some guys in the band. We were going to burn one with Paul Baloff but he turned us down because he didn't want to fuck up his throat. Which is just hilarious.

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  20. "We were going to burn one with Paul Baloff but he turned us down because he didn't want to fuck up his throat. Which is just hilarious."

    HAHAHAHAAAAAAA!

    ...and it ain't about no trout....

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  21. Matt Pike from High On Fire did the same thing to me and a buddy of mine when they were on tour with A Life Once Lost. Aparently he's more of a drinker these days.

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  22. I thought it was very funny when Pantera started marketing those pot leaf t shirts and trying to associate themselves with the marijuana subculture. All of their songs are either violent revenge fantasies or rants about how life sucks in general. You'd think the pot would mellow them out a little.

    Speaking of lil' Phil, desperately trying to associate one's self with the marijuana subculture in a pitiful attempt at seeking attention completely explains the existence of Superjoint Ritual, doesn't it?

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  23. @ vincent:

    that doucher from daisy of love was also in bottom-of-the-fucking-barrel nu-metal band twisted method.

    i wish i didn't know that. i also wish that i didn't even know what the fuck daisy of love is.

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  24. What are the marijuana laws in the US like? Some people told me the laws ar really strict.

    That Zakk Wylde story made me wonder, since smoking weed in public is not that much of a good idea (esp in america) in my opinion.

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  25. @ Anonymous, small amounts of pot are tolerated - in most places you would only get a ticket for possession, although some places might give you a misdemeanor. It depends on the locale.

    People toking up at concerts is very common, because with all the people around, many smoking cigarettes, it's easy not to be spotted by security, who are usually more concerned with keeping the peace. However, with changes in smoking laws (in some cities you can't smoke at any public place indoors) I don't know how people might get away with it now.

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  26. I was thinking about going to a Melvins/Down show in September and this article reminds me of what I have to look forward to, especially since one of the opening bands is called Weedeater. Vey! It's probably going to look like a casting call for a Deliverance remake with a bunch of toothless hillbilly meth freaks there. I'm going mainly for The Melvins. I'm not sure how much of Down I'll stay around for. It's up to if Phil can keep the rambling white pride rants to a minimum.

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    1. Weedeater kicks ass.

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  27. I didn't know Kelly Shaefer was in Dope!?

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  28. Id rather have 200 Six Feet Under song about weed than 2 cover albums...

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  29. I don't care if you don't like black label society. I am a non-white trash BLS fan, my friends are non-white trash BLS fans, my father is a non-white trash BLS fan. Every concert I have ever gone to has had plenty of white trash people, from trans siberian orchestra to motley crue, to priest. Metal attracts white trash people sometimes, it isnt just bls. Also, when he says he is a little bias he must mean he is a lot bias because to bls fans stoned and drunk is a great song. he just wanted a chance to insult them and he took it. For a song to be bad a bulk of the fans would have to agree that it is bad and they don't, at least to my knowledge. I AM A SOCIETY DWELLING MOTHER FUCKER. STRENGTH DETERMINATION MERCILESS FOREVER! FUCK ALL OF YOU.

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  30. Like and appreciate your post , thanks .

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  31. يمكن أن تكون عملية نقل العفش بجدة عملية مرهقة حقا. ولكن معنا في شركة نقل عفش بجدة سيكون لديك خدمة لتفكيك وتركيب الاثاث بأكمله في منزلك عند النقل منزلك القديم الي المنزل الجديد والأهم من ذلك، ان تتأكد من أنك تتعامل مع
    شركة نقل اثاث بجدة لا تضر الاشياء الخاصة بك فأنتا معنا في شركة نقل الاثاث بجدة جنبا إلى جنب مع عائلتك.
    شركة نقل الاثاث بالدمام فقط لا يمكن أن تمرالي منزلك الجديد الا من خلال شركة نقل عفش بالدمام تقدم عمليات النقل التي قد تجد أنها شاقة وغيرمرغوب فيه مرات فهذا هو المكان متخصص في خدمات النقل والتي باختصار يمكن أن يسمى شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام الحديثة التي تهتم "التعبئة والتغليف والسيارات الحديثة " -والتي توجد في متناول يديك ويمكنهم مساعدتك أثناء النقل الخاص بك للحصول علي خدمة قيمة للغاية.
    شركات نقل الاثاث بمكة
    في ما يلي بعض الأسئلة التي قد تكون لديكم وقت خدمة الانتقال.
    هل يجب علي التعامل مع شركة نقل اثاث بمكة تقدم خدمة تعبئة وتغليف لمساعدتي في الانتقال؟
    ننصحك بعدم تأجير خدمة نقل الاثاث بمكة بسبب الحصول علي شركة قليلة المال تدمر الممتلكات الخاص بكم فتعامل لابد ان يكون مع شركة نقل عفش بمكة خبرتهم في مساعدة الناس على الانتقال على أساس يومي أو أسبوعي لديهم خدمة التعبئة والتغليف بالإضافة إلى ذلك، سيكون لديهم المعدات والأساسيات التي يحتاج الجميع أثناء نقل. النقل والتعبئة والتحميل والتفريغ من أمتعتهم الخاصة بك كما سيتم اتخاذ الرعاية الكامة في النقل من قبل مزود الخدمة.

    شركة تخزين الاثاث بالرياض
    التعاقد مع خدمة تخزين العفش بالرياض في وقت نقل سيكون خطوة ذكية لانك ستتعاقد مع
    شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض تقدم خدمة التعبئة والتغليف والسيارات التي هي قريبة من منزلك ولها سجل خدمة موثوق بها فالتعامل مع
    شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض لديها امكانيات كبيرة تساعدك في حفظ اثاثك في
    مستودعات تخزين اثاث بالرياض لرعاية ممتلكاتك بمجرد تسليمها الي منزلك الجديد كما هي أتمنى لكم خدمة آمنة وخالية من الإجهاد نقل
    شركة تخزين اثاث

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