Kyuss - “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop”
The genre of stoner rock probably has a somewhat maligned reputation, by virtue of its misleading name. Certainly, the genre used to be known for its artists and fans being stoners — it’s said that the effects of marijuana complement the music quite well — but there’s no reason anybody can’t enjoy it, provided slow-to-mid tempo, low-tuned guitars, melodic vocals, and a whole lot of bass sounds good to you.
Stoner rock’s influences go right back to the 1960s if you look hard enough, with the likes of Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead, and Iron Butterfly being notable influencers. But Kyuss are said to have made the first true stoner rock album with “Blues for the Red Sun” in 1992. The release of “Welcome to Sky Valley” (1994) marks their finest point, as far as I’m concerned, and this track is from that album.
The most interesting thing to note about Kyuss, for my money, is the history of its band members. Josh Homme was one of Kyuss’ only continuous members, who of course later went on to form Queens of the Stone Age. That’s the most notable mention, but far from the only one: members of Kyuss at one point or another have been responsible for great bands like Fu Manchu, Eagles of Death Metal, Slo Burn, and Mondo Generator. Stoner rock seems like a fairly incestuous genre in that respect, with a lot of bands sharing members, which is true, but it was also a lot of shared talent, and they’ve been responsible for producing a lot of music that still sounds great today, 17 years after Kyuss started making music, and 14 years after Kyuss broke up.