Thursday, September 10, 2009

When Weed And Metal Goes Wrong Pt. II

Thanks to the feedback for the first post of 'When Weed And Metal Goes Wrong'! There were some good ideas, additional mentions of metal failing at the topic of weed, and other discussion. If you missed the inaugural post, check it out HERE.

Again, like mentioned in the first post, 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. I’ve also foregone the “traditional” metal/stoner bands cause that’s just like shooting fish in a barrel.

For the second installment of 'WWAMGW' I'm gonna expand the boundaries a bit further than just rattle off bad metal songs about marijuana. For starters, a few readers mentioned Pantera in the first post which piqued my curiosity because off the top of my head I couldn't think of an overtly "weed" song that Pantera had written. Where did this connection come from? I searched through lyrics and album art and couldn't find any solid leads. In fact, I was surprised that Far Beyond Driven only mentions 'dope' a couple times and the word 'smoke' three times throughout the whole album - WTF?! Where was the Pantera-Weed connection? Coming up empty handed, I think I’ve finally found the culprit connecting the band to weed, quite simply: their merchandise. Talk about great branding! Rarely mentioned in song at all, the band earned their weed-loving rep through various pot-leaf emblazoned (huge pun there, sorry, had to) merchandise items like these:


Seriously, you can do a socio-marketing study on this phenomenon. However, like mentioned in the first post when referencing Black Label Society's fanbase (ie. predominantly trashy, with redneck tendencies and a love for Hot Topic and headshops) I think their fanbase saw the merch and sunk their teeth in deep. In short, it's impressive to see a band never pen a song about weed, rarely mention it in song, and yet become synonymous with marijuana. I'm not sure if I should give kudos or sympathy?

Moving right along… For better or worse, I've always had a soft spot for Fear Factory, I’m sure much to the chagrin of many readers. Strangely enough it was their much-overlooked EP Fear Is The Mindkiller that I first heard from the band sometime in '93.

(The nu-metal-odometer was broke that day)

My interest in the band tapered off right around Obsolete, but the deathblow came right around that time when there was a "supergroup" of sorts that featured Christian (bass) and Raymond (drums) of Fear Factory along with Stef, the guitarist from the Deftones, and B-Real of Cypress Hill fame. The name of this group: Kush. Yep, named after a strain of marijuana. This is such a bad name it rivals the lame band Dope (who got a good reaming in the first WWAMGW post) - in fact, I'm curious to hear which name readers think is the worse of the two? Please comment below. Not quite as overt as Cannibis Corpse and their hilarious song titles, but still having song titles like "Light It Up" the group is clearly a force to be reckoned with amongst highschoolers dipping their toe into the rap-metal water. In retrospect, there WAS some foreshadowing when Fear Factory's remix album "Remanufacture" had a short instrumental song titled 'Bionic Chronic' which seemed so outta nowhere (and out of character for the band) that I'm sure I wasn't the only person thinking something wasn’t quite right in the FF camp. In any event, so far God has fortunately jumped on the grenade and Kush hasn't put out a record (their debut was supposed to surface in '03), but I still wait with fear and baited breath...

(Smoke 'em if ya got 'em...)

Mentioning the Deftones does bring up a more pressing offense by the band (and I LIKE the Deftones): they're playing this year's 2009 Smokeout Festival next month with Slipknot. Double ouch! This is a real life example of the critical moment where weed infects metal in a bad way. You see, other bands playing this festival are acts like Kottonmouth Kings, Sublime, etc. and it’s hosted by Cheech and Chong. You can imagine the legions of mall dirt that will be in attendance. They should get Jnco to sponsor this fest, have booths for henna tattoos and dirty do-it-yourself dread locks and just call it ‘Dirty Crusty Burn-Out Fest’.

(Standard issue Smokeout Fest attendee - Thanks to yourscenesucks.com)


However, this edition of WWAMGW would be remiss without SOME mention of metal“fumbling the pass” when it comes to weed. So, without further ado, here are this post's contenders:

Cephalic Carnage - 'Kill For Weed' (From the Anomalies album)

I have to qualify this by saying: I love Cephalic Carnage. I think they're great, they're cool dudes and they all shred at their instruments. It pains me to write them up like this (much like Brujeria in the first post) but I have to mention this song cause it seriously made me laugh out loud. Truth be told, I think this song is awesome. I love the brazen, ridiculous concept of "killing for weed" cause that shit is just so plain extreme you have to - whether you like it or not - begrudgingly respect it cause they go there. The music is sweet, and the lyrics ain't too bad either UNTIL you get to the last few lines vocalist Lenzig bursts out and the song’s coolness is almost undone. In short, the song talks about how cops are fucked up, they'll tear your house apart looking for weed, the system is fucked up, weed should be legalized and how he kills to stop the cop mistreatment... sounds all good right? That is, until the last few lines where he says:

"This is a song about a schizophrenic,

I met on the street,

Told me how he killed for weed"

I thought my head spun around like in the exorcist in a true WTF moment? Did he just answer an interview question within the context of a song? Let me explain, those lyrics are actually IN the song ABOUT the song they are in and not just a liner note explanation. Talk about utter hilarity in some weird twist of circular logic. He might as well have said, "By the way, this song is based on a true story of my encounter with a mentally handicapped derelict, the names have been changed to protect..." except SUNG in the song as part of the song (in death metal vocals no less). Wait, maybe I should give them a pass for originality and good use of narrative dialog?


Vanillia Ice - 'Zig Zag Stories' (From the Hard To Swallow album) I know this might seem like I'm throwing a ringer out there from the get-go since this is Vanilla Ice, but hear me out. From a musical perspective, I really enjoy this record. Yes, I can hear you in the back decry how Ross Robinson (aka nu-metal producer extraordinaire) recorded this record - guess what: it's a musically inventive album (especially amongst the nu-metal glut when in came out in '98) with effects, layers and loops providing interesting textures and sounds (and you'll probably give silly nu-metal experimenter Tom Morello a pass for street cred and the status quo - lame). Rather than sit here and write a book about how Vanilla Ice's stylistic shift is already in its 12th incarnation of morbid self-impersonating sarcasm, let's just say I think it's a good record, BUT not without it's butchering of the topic of marijuana. Check out this lyrical except:

"...To blaze up a sac of that green bombay

And when I reach my peak, I explode like Dante

Tha ganjay has got my mind wide open, I'm soakin'

In the music, I use it, and don't abuse it

And true, it gets me high like the sky

I will buy 'till the day that I die

You ain't gotta ask me why

I take tokes from the smoke, I can't deny

Got a lifetime supply

And I wanna get you high"

I rest my case.


Before wrapping up, though, I also wanted to give a couple of honorable mentions. Firstly, thanks to SaveTheCirclePit for pointing out Sacred Reich's song ‘Ask Ed’ for the great lyrics:

“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”

I thought the term dube went out in about '76, but the ‘Reich is reppin' it hard twenty years later! Also, an honorable mention shout-out to Decrepit Birth's Diminishing Between Worlds album. I stumbled across their lyrical delivery recently with great interest. They've somehow managed to write an album where the lyrics read like singer Bill Robinson is stoned to the bejeebus (say that like Bill Murray in Caddyshack). We're talking meta-physics, astral projection, multi-dimensions, etc. He accomplishes ALL of this without any mention of 'weed', 'smoke', 'marijuana' or any other drug-related connotations - good work and tip of the cap to you sir!

If you have ideas for future “WWAMGW” songs to discuss, let me know. The next edition may flip the script for a bizzaro post of ‘When Weed And Metal Goes RIGHT’! So stay tuned.

37 comments:

  1. Cannabis Corpse? Probably as close as it gets to Weed and Metal go RIGHT, although think that the whole humorous-play-on-an-existing-band thing was probably done better by Italy's Nanowar.

    Dope gets my vote for worst name, although Kush did come a VERY close second...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pantera's last album does mention weed: "Goddamn Electric": "Your trust is in whiskey, weed and Slayer...Your trust is in whiskey, weed and Black Sabbath..."

    Smoke Some Kill!

    ReplyDelete
  3. one time i saw cephalic carnage and they got no reaction from the crowd until the vocalist sheepishly said "who here thinks pot should be legalized????" between songs. It was a great idea because thir music was really boring

    ReplyDelete
  4. Coming from a rather rural area in Germany, i think at least 5 out of 10 people wearing Pantera merch in that area in the 90s did not even know the band. honestly.
    smart move to sell more stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I honestly can't see the Fail in Cephalic Carnage... Love the lyrics of Kill For Weed, completely over-the-top just like any other of their songs...
    The Decrepit Birth singer gave an interview recently to Metalsucks in which he talks about his weird lifestyle, it's quite fun and explains a lot!
    http://www.metalsucks.net/2009/07/28/dirt-fest-13-interviews-part-2-decrepit-births-bill-robinson-i-do-hallucinogens-a-lot/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh man that Smokeout Fest attendee chart is so accurate that I am now angry.

    ReplyDelete
  7. dude, the decrepit birth thing is how all tech death bands write lyrics. You ever read any origin!?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I seem to remember an mid-period Pantera (Cowboys, Vulgar Display of Power) shirt that said "Why Drink and Drive when you can Smoke and Fly", or some such nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Grobi Wunder: I tried to state how I loved CC and it pained to mention those lyrics, and even in the end I left the idea open to give them a pass for originality... but you can bet your ass they'll be mentioned in 'When Weed And Metal Goes RIGHT!' haha

    ReplyDelete
  10. Remember when guitarist Darrell Abbott changed his name from Diamond Darrell to Dimebag Darrell and was sporting a hat with a pot leaf on it? Yeah, good times

    ReplyDelete
  11. ... and that's where they belong! I'm just listening to Counting The Days, lyrics that are so retard-simple, they're pure fun!
    I also love their diversity of lyrical topics... :D
    IMHO the best (neo-)grind band that's out there!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well well guys, I haven't been on here for a while for the exact reason of this post. I've been getting high. Well that, and starting university and working, but yeah, metal weed songs are horrible we can agree on that. I think this is the case do to Rap groups setting the bar so high.

    How can metal acts compete with a song like I Got 5 On It by The Luniz.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I only have 1 thing to say and that is this:

    "Like a wild indian from outer space, drunk and high on weed"!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Friend was wearing a Pantera tour shirt with a big leaf on it one night when we get pulled over. Cop says "You boys have anything in the car I should know about?"

    "No Sir".

    Cop gets a look at friends shirt, says "Yeah okay", and next thing I know my car is getting ripped apart.

    Thanks alot Pantera. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I remember watching a Pantera home video (Vulgar Video I think) when I was in Jr. High and there was a scene with the band smoking a joint that was like 2 feet long or some shit. Even if they didn't sing about it, they always gave off a heavy weed vibe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cop gets a look at friends shirt, says "Yeah okay", and next thing I know my car is getting ripped apart.

    -

    Ouch! That sucks... I've always thought whether you smoked or not it seems like a dumb idea to wear weed-related shirts. It's like indirectly asking cops to fuck with you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Who the fuck put Pennywise on the roster for something called "Smokeout Fest"? Buncha SoCal HC dudes with short hair and shit, and they've got the dude from Ignite singing for them, they're going to go over like narcs at that show.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I feel like municipal waste isn't mentioned enough here, which is why you should definetly not pay any attention to their bassit band cannibis corpse which you most likely know about but refuse to pay any attention to. the following is a non ironic picture which you have probly seen yet refuse to discuss http://www.metalinjection.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/cannabiscorpse-weed.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  19. If Pantera's music was a drug, it be a combination of cheap beer and low-grade meth.

    ReplyDelete
  20. If Panteras music were a drug, it would be a sleep aid....zzzzzz.....they are so boring.

    ReplyDelete
  21. See the inner sleeve of Autopsy "Mental funeral", you'll see a lot of photos of bandmembers smoking from long tubes and pipes...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I must admit I like Atheist a lot but I think just about every song on the Elements album should be mentioned here...

    ReplyDelete
  23. if you liked that cartoon of the Smokeout Fest attendee kid, you should check out the rest of that dudes site for swipes at juggalos, brootal kids, crunk-core, hardcore kids, punx, pete wentz fans, black metal knights etc etc. friggin hilarious, well researched and illustrated.. i have no idea who the guy is that does the site but it's awesome.

    http://www.yourscenesucks.com/

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Stax; I totally agree, and because of that inncident never bought anything advertising that I smoke either. Everytime my buddy wore that shirt again, I forced him to drive his fucking car;)

    Also, thanks for this blog, just started reading and you guys are awesome. I read the archives and its been helping to kill alot of hours at work.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Having gotten high as the dickens with both Bill from Decrepit Birth and multiple members of Cephalic Carnage - and having just enjoyed a heaping bowl of hashish - I gotta say this post struck a nerve. That picture of Bill with the cosmos blew my fucking MIND!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Completely disagree with Cephalic Carnage being on this list.

    I'd also like to point out that BRUTAL TRUTH kick ass.

    That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Don't know if anyone mentoned Rush's "A Passage To Bangkok" in the previous post, but it's up there with "Sweet Leaf" for being a classic weed-opus. I'm surprised that you've missed 2 opportunities to further rip on Anvil. Lately they put at least one terribly moronic weed song on every album: "Smokin' Green", "Sativa", etc. Depressing!

    ReplyDelete
  28. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

    ReplyDelete
  29. SO many times I read stupid post but this time I must say i'm impressed! Well done! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  30. dude first off the guitarist and legend of the band pantera is named "dimebag". if you knew anything about pantera you would know that their music was about live performances and had you been so blessed to experience such a show while dimebag was still alive you would see that the band smokes weed the entire time, phil anselmo (singer) rants and riles up the crowd about it alot, people throw joints on stage which the band smokes and at about all of the four shows i went to they had a marijuana leaf lazer show.

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG4X_jBgfcg

    Here's the Pantera-weed connection you were triyng to find out

    ReplyDelete
  32. fuck off you loser Phil and Dimebag are like great stoners if you don't know about tripping on
    goddamn riffs and solos then you don't know a shit about metal

    ReplyDelete
  33. Impressive post . Really great thanks for this post here .

    ReplyDelete
  34. you are providing great and quality services, i appreciate you. Thanks for sharing as it is an excellent post would love to read your future post.
    Marijuana Apparel

    ReplyDelete