Thursday, August 27, 2009

Such Hawks, Such Hounds

Andy had loaned me his DVD copy of Such Hawks Such Hounds, a documentary of the "American hard rock underground" music scene. That may seem like a mouthful for a genre, which you may know better as 'stoner rock', or 'doom'. If you're looking for a textbook definition of what exactly 'stoner rock' is, look no further:
It combines elements of psychedelic rock, blues-rock and doom metal. Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo and features low-tuned guitars, a bass-heavy sound,[1] melodic vocals, and 'retro' production.[2] The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered foremost by the Californian bands Kyuss[3] and Sleep.
There's an obvious negative connotation to the term "stoner" when associated with this music genre, so "American hard rock underground" really sums it up better. It's not grunge, it's not heavy metal, it's just...rock. Take what was going on with bands like Black Sabbath in the 1970's and just extend to the modern era. It's not for everyone, but I love it.

Such Hawks does a wonderful job of documenting the stoner rock genre from its roots up to today. There were several bands featured that I recognized, but about double that number of bands I didn't recognize. A handful of bands were prominently featured, and each one kind of occupied their own niche of the overall stoner rock genre.

If you're a fan of music and culture in general, you'll enjoy this documentary. It's well shot and is very cohesive, not feeling 'choppy' or 'cut' at all. It allows the artists themselves to tell their story with very little (hardly any) dialog on the interviewers part. Now it you like the stoner rock scene on the other hand, then this is kind of a must see. If you head over to their official website, you can catch some clips and outtakes from the editing room floor.

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