By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
By Steve Weinstein
By Araceli Cruz
Hot from the wires comes news that High Times magazine has a Baghdad correspondent filing stories that locals are toking weed and getting stoned. That is, when not being forced to cop a different flavor of blow from car bombs, JDAMs, and machine-gun fire. It's democracy!
Hamid's buying schwag in the smoking cradle of civilization while maxing to heavy metalprobably High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection, also issued by High Times. And that's a fully baked idea, too, if there ever was one: a doper mag publishing an omnibus of stoner metal about four years after the peak of enthusiasm for the genre.
It's a shame, because there was an age when there weren't more people in stoner metal bands than there were fans of it. But that was a good long time ago, and too many on High Volume are due for the glue factory. None need rendering more than Corrosion of Conformity, a band that has taken decades of toil to master playing really boring metal slow and making denim look like it was dragged a mile on an oiled dirt road.
The CD kicks off with, no lie, a song called "Too Stoned" byeyes rollGas Giant. Bad Wizard, Clutch, and Orange Goblin do OK, and High on Fire supply a cut for those who believe elephantine means pure excitement. The remaining no-names push amps to boiling, punctuated by cryptic exclamations from vigorously humorless singers.