While The Path to the Deathless (Desert Records) continues down the psychedelic stoner journey that Red Mesa put forth with 2018’s The Devil and the Desert, its execution is grittier. The atmosphere carries hints of desolation within its imagery of open desert plains and the grainy guitar tone has a certain nastiness even when it isn’t overtly aggressive. There’s also not much emphasis on acoustic playing this time around, and even the tracks that do feature it come with a more noticeably somber air.
When you ask some Stoner Rock and Metal bands about their scene, you’ll find a lot of them will not always directly address themselves as being particularly part of it. Ask Weed Is Weed that question? Well you can’t expect that kind of response. They’ve taken the idea of Stoner music and absolutely run with it, sounding like High On Fire on a jam session after smoking a couple. Leading the way are two big names from the Maryland scene in Dave Sherman and Gary Isom who between them have had a hand in the likes of Pentagram, Spirit Caravan and Earthride. So even just from that then, you know that this is going to be an album absolutely stacked with riffs, and that it is.
In fact it is the musicianship on the album which stops it being completely terrible. The band connect brilliantly, bringing a level of groove and heaviness up there with some of the very best bands in the scene at the moment. And it is in the music you should focus, because when we start paying too much attention to the lyrics it all starts falling apart. Obviously they’re not to be taken THAT seriously, but by the sixth track ‘Eat Pussy’ you are beyond the “what are they going on about?” phase. As you’d expect the majority of the album is about getting high, tracks ‘Weed Is Weed’, ‘Big Green Patch’ and ‘Cottonmouth’ are testament to that. Vocally the delivery is strong, but lyrically not so much.
Overall, though, this is a decent album. It won’t be one you stick on all the time, but if you fancy a bit of groove and some heavy riffs with a bit of fun, then Weed Is Weed’s Blunt Force Trauma (Ripple) is on point. This could very well become a stoners’ manifesto.