6 Stoner Rock Bands Named for Weed
The high inspiration behind what six heady groups called themselves.
The high 1960s San Francisco power trio Blue Cheer invented a sludgy, psychedelic offshoot of heavy metal that still dominates the hard-and-heavy genre. The band set another precedent by naming itself after a strain of LSD. The music wasn't called “acid rock” for nothing.
Today's sonic descendants of Blue Cheer are naturally honoring marijuana with lyrics, song titles, an overall heady aesthetic, and by band names that are shout-outs to the herb.
The six stoner rock bands stacked below are up front about their high inspiration. Don't hesitate to join them in the elevated zone.
Stoner metal’s reigning instrumental skull-smashers turn every one of their epic excursions into a wordless saga of smoke, power, and imagination. They call their sound “Miserable Chicago Doom,” but its dark dives and skyrocketing peaks prove to be as universal a pleasure as ripping a bong is itself.
Smoking Jams: “The Great Barrier Reefer;” “Reefer Sutherland”
Bongzilla rocks in proportion to the Japanese movie monster from which their hybrid strain of a moniker is half-derived. The Madison, Wisconsin, marauders evangelize THC with every riff, every bash, and every time frontman Mike “Muleboy” Makela leads live audiences in a chant of “Legalize It!”—which is all the time.
Smoking Jams: “Amerijuanican;” “Grim Reefer”
The side project of bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall of Richmond, Virginia, thrash masters Municipal Waste is a riot of pot puns and reefer references—their name is a spoof of death metal icons Cannibal Corpse and many of their titles further parody that group’s songs. Still, don’t be fooled into thinking Cannabis Corpse doesn’t rock most seriously in its own lit identity.
Smoking Jams: “Blunted at Birth;” “Gateways to Inhalation”
Website: Cannabis Corpse
Sativa-obsessed Swedish supergroup Greenleaf combines members of metal battalions Dozer, Demon Cleaner, Lowrider, and Truckfighters to conjure electric celebrations of marijuana. Their 2016 long player, Rise Above the Meadow, is a soaring soundtrack for doing just what the title instructs.
Smoking Jams: “Our Mother Ash;” “Funeral Pyre”
Website: Greenleaf Rocks
High on Fire
Gloriously perma-wasted guitar wizard Matt Pike founded High on Fire during a break from his totemic power trio Sleep, whose single-song 75-minute album Dopesmoker remains stoner rock’s great “before-and-after” line in the sand. Scorching on contact, High on Fire veers closer to straightforward rock-and-roll, although straight is a relative term.
Smoking Jams: “Fertile Green;” “Luminiferous”
Website: High on Fire
Southern sludge metal mad-mouth and Buzzov*en bassist Dave “Dixie” Collins initially launched Weedeater as a side project. Once Dixie hooked up with guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd and drummer Travis Owen, their connection proved cosmic. Weedeater ignited into its own primary force so distinctly pot-propelled that the group’s signature sound has come to be deemed “weed metal.” Put that in your ears and smoke it.
Smoking Jams: “Dirt Merchant;” “Weed Monkey”
Website: Weed Metal