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Pothead(s) of the Week: "Fuck the News and Turn on Some Stoner Metal" Edition

Are you sick of compulsively refreshing the homepage of every newspaper, too? This weekend, let's all turn off our brains and crank some Kyuss.

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If you’ve been reading the news, you already know that this week has been crazy as shit. Turns out Donald Trump tried to get former FBI director James Comey to drop his investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, which seems like a no-no. I was watching cable news at like four in the morning the other night, and a talking head who used to be an FBI agent was all like, “If they find evidence that Donald Trump’s aides were going around taking physical steps to interfere with that investigation under Trump’s orders, then Donald Trump probably committed obstruction of justice.” And now that another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, has been appointed by the Justice Department as an independent counsel overseeing the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the New York Times has reported that Trump’s advisers are telling him to lawyer up. We can only hope that Trump will be retaining the services of Roy Cohn’s corpse, strung up by marionette strings and operated by Friend of our Pothead Column, Roger Stone.

Anyways, instead of greedily refreshing the Washington Post homepage in hopes of catching the latest update in the Huxleyesque reality show that is our rapidly crumbling democracy, I suggest you take the weekend off from the news. Things get stressful when you pay too much attention, and besides, if something truly insane happens, somebody will go ahead and text you about it. Since this is a website about weed, you can probably guess what I’m going to tell you to do instead: smoke some dang weed.

And if you’re smoking some dang weed, allow me to suggest that you listen to some dang stoner metal. This week marked both the 17th anniversary of Bongzilla’s Apogee album as well as the 52nd birthday of Scott Reeder, who played bass in both The Obsessed and Kyuss. And on Monday, Danzig’s amazingly-titled album Danzig 7:77: I Luciferi will turn 15. And while I Luciferi isn’t technically a stoner metal album, it’s definitely good enough to listen to while you’re high.

Bongzilla: Apogee

By virtue of their name alone, you should probably be able to guess Bongzilla’s deal. Like, just imagine a city-destroying lizard that you could smoke weed out of, and that’s basically Bongzilla’s deal. The riffs are big, the grooves are ponderous, and the overall effect is enough to spontaneously generate the munchies in your stomach. While Apogee does not have the funniest name of all the Bongzilla albums –– that would be 2005’s Amerijuanican –– the album does take its name from the Apogee bong company, whose tagline read, “Apogee… the highest point. Apogee bongs take you there.”

The Obsessed: Lunar Womb

Between his work with The Obsessed, St. Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Shrinebuilder, and the bajillion other bands he’s played with, Wino has given a lot to the world of stoner metal, but since Lunar Womb is the album our birthday boy Scott Reeder played bass on, that’s the one we’re going to talk about today. Yes, the cover of Lunar Womb is gruesome, but so is the music inside it. The Obsessed takes the feelings of every bad trip, every paranoid freakout, every moment you’ve ever been stoned in public and look at a person looking at you and think to yourself, “THEY KNOW I’M HIGH.” But more than that, The Obsessed are fucking fun to listen to. Frontman Scott “Wino” Weinrich is the main attraction here –– his unrelenting guitar work and despair-laden lyrics that stick with you like resin on the inside of an uncleaned bowl. If you like watching scary movies while you’re high and want the metal equivalent of that, you’re going to need some damn Lunar Womb in your life.

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Kyuss: Welcome to Sky Valley

Not only is Welcome to Sky Valley Kyuss’s five-mic classic album, it was also their first record with Scott Reeder, who joined up with the band shortly after cutting Lunar Womb with The Obsessed. Kyuss had their roots in California’s Palm Desert scene, cutting their teeth playing all-night parties in the desert, their amps powered by generators and their chops powered by the knowledge that the methed-up bikers in the audience would beat the shit out of them if they sucked. Reeder’s bass helped power on the already-potent crew, even further fattening out their unfathomably deep low end –– in part achieved by bandleader Josh Homme running his guitar through a bass amp, and in part achieved by fealty to all things baked beyond all possible belief.

Danzig: Danzig 7:77: I Luciferi

As I already said, I Luciferi isn’t a stoner metal album per se –– in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if frontman Glenn Danzig believed with all of his crispy, blackened heart that smoking weed disqualifies you from being a Satanist. And yet, as he moved from fronting The Misfits to Samhain and then to Danzig, Glenn’s music got slower and slower, to the point that tracks like “Dirty Black Summer” and the straightfaced Roy Orbison tribute “Sestinas” are textured and weird enough to satiate sativa-lovers of the most discerning variety. I Luciferi came after Danzig’s ill-fated flirtations with industrial music on Danzig 6:66: Satan’s Child (are you sensing a theme with his album titles here?) and found him leaning into the same demonic intensity that came to define the band’s earlier work. This is the perfect album to listen to after you’ve spent the weekend getting baked and need to amp yourself back to place where you can take on the heartless farce that defines current events these days.

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