Music Reviews

Halfway To Gone

High Five

Small Stone

Lately, I’ve been pondering what the hell “stoner rock” means. Not being much of a proponent of the (very) loosely defined genre, it’s much easier to argue that the term is dubious at best. Then again, those who are proponents would probably say the same is true regarding black metal. So, to cut my losses and even the field, let’s just say that, physically, stoner rock is ’70s hard rock exaggerated • heavier when it’s heavy, faster when it’s fast, slower when it’s slow, and perhaps more psychedelic when it’s psychedelic • and metaphysically, and most importantly in respect to the argument at hand, is all in the atmosphere, the vibe, the feel. Now that I’ve conceded that, all the erstwhile stoner rockers can now concede for me that black metal, likewise, is all in the feel, so they’d better not confuse that genre with death metal ever again. What am I getting at here, then? Basically, I dunno how to tangibly explain it any more than I have in reviews of other bands in the same milieu, but Halfway To Gone are most definitely “stoner rock” per the (lobotomized?) definition proffered above • again, it’s all in the feel, man. The acid test? The New Jersey trio’s full-length debut, High Five. Sure, you could slip Halfway To Gone sidelong between Raging Slab and Alabama Thunderpussy, who they’ve unsurprisingly shared a split CD with, as such an estimation is more accurate than any otherwise-lucid descriptions, but look at it this way: When they rock slow, they rock slow, deep, and hard, and when they rock fast, they rock as fast as the ace of spades, so this fits said definition like an iron(-fisted) glove. ‘Nuff said. Hardly revelatory, High Five is nonetheless a form-fitting piece of the “stoner rock” puzzle.

Small Stone, PO Box 007, Detroit, MI 48202; http://www.smallstone.com, http://www.halfwaytogone.com


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