By Jim DeRogatis


At a point when the pop mainstream is increasingly dominated by anemic canned dance grooves and alternative rock has devolved into an endless parade of “Cookie Monster” rap-rock bands (so-named for their unintelligible growling vocals), some of the most creative and hardest-rocking sounds are emanating from deep in the underground, where a promising new wave of artists is reaching back for inspiration to the psychedelic, proto-metallic jamming of bands like Cream, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Hawkwind.

“Stoner rock,” the sound has come to be called, but it’s a name that nobody is really happy with, resonant as it is of cartoonish caricatures like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In England, the music is often called “doom,” but that seems darker than the exuberantly loud genre deserves.

“I really don’t care what anybody calls it any more,” says Brant Bjork, the original drummer with Kyuss, now of Fu Manchu. “I’ve been in this business long enough to know that journalists are gonna call it something. They’re not gonna call it rock ’n’ roll, because that’s what they called it in the ’50s. They’re not gonna call it heavy metal, ’cause that’s what they called it in the ’60s and ’70s. If it’s stoner rock nowadays, fine. It’s all rock ’n’ roll, and we all smoke pot, so it all makes sense anyway.”

Call it what you will, there is a unifying D.I.Y. spirit and a shared love for unrelenting rhythms, space-bound jams, and hard-hitting but melodic riffs among these otherwise diverse bands. Mindful of the way that grunge was co-opted in the early ’90s and turned seemingly overnight from music into a marketing gimmick, some of these artist are unwilling to admit that there even is a genre here. And indeed, the specific hallmarks of a “stoner-rock sound” are hard to pin down.

“I would say it’s straightforward rock ’n’ roll—your basic three instruments rocking away with a straightforward beat and no distractions,” says Eric Lemasters, founder of The Music Cartel, one of the key independent labels powering this sound. “The term ‘stoner rock’ is basically just those bands who are playing rock music but everything is a little more… distorted. Heavy metal was the first music to put a faster beat with the distortion. Stoner rock has taken all of those elements and slowed them back down, so you’ve still got the distortion and the same aggression, but not necessarily the speed.”

Confused? Maybe the best way to get a grip on the sound and the movement is with a list of symbols epitomizing both. Stoner rock is often about huge gongs; massive Marshals; SVTs; vintage Ludwig Vistalite drum sets; long, greasy hair; tattoos; ear-crunching volume; heavy-duty ride cymbals; gigantic hum-along riffs; fuzztone, fuzztone, and more fuzztone; tongue-in-cheek lyrical references to drug manuals and role-playing fantasy games; Russ Meyer movies; a big underground buzz; beer; black lights, and bongs.

Stoner rock is almost never about drum machines and synthesizers; hair gel; love songs; rapping (freestyle or otherwise); “unplugged” anything, and MTV-level hype.

As you may have gathered, real musicians playing real instruments are a big part of this scene, and the drummers who have been rightly or wrongly saddled with the stoner-rock tag are among the most inspired in rock today. In order to get a handle on the music and the movement, Modern Drummer spoke to five of musicians who are at various points in their careers and artistic developments: the much-revered Dale Crover of the Melvins, Brant Bjork of Kyuss and Fu Manchu, Jon Kleiman of Monster Magnet, Gene Trautmann of the Queens of the Stone Age, and Ren Squires of sHEAVY.


Over the course of the Melvins’ 17-year career, the influential trio has been considered post-punk, indie rock, grunge, and now stoner rock. But no one label has ever really fit the lugubrious sonic lava flow that the group so lovingly exudes.

“We’ve always been oddballs, because we have elements of heavy metal in our stuff, but we’ve always hated the cheesiness of heavy metal,” Crover says. “We’re too nerdy for the heavy-metal audience, and we’re too heavy for any kind of alternative audience, but there are definitely people who like us and all the weird stuff that we do. It’s great that we’ve managed to exist off this band for so long and not go away—Buzz and I have been doing this as our day jobs now for 10 years.”

Formed by guitarist-vocalist Buzz Osborne in 1985 in the rural logging town of Aberdeen, Washington, the Melvins were early favorites of the young Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, who talked the group up in interviews once they became successful as members of Nirvana. That led to a deal for the Melvins with Atlantic Records—the band recorded some of its best albums for the label, including the Cobain-produced Houdini in 1993 and Stag in 1996—but it happily returned to the ranks of the indies in1997 once the alternative moment had waned.

In 1999, the Melvins recorded a series of three albums for IPECAC—Maggot, The Bootlicker, and The Crybaby—showcasing the trio’s considerable diversity and justifying its long-running position as underground legends. “My own style definitely developed with the band,” Crover says. “If it wasn’t for the Melvins, I’d have been playing a different way, or maybe not at all. One of the reasons I like this band is because it’s always a challenge: Throw out any kind of rule book to playing rock drums and do something completely different and unorthodox. We don’t have any set rules or guidelines about how we should write songs. We’ll do stuff like, ‘You’d think I’d want to play this drum beat here, but let’s no do the obvious; let’s do something completely different.’ That always keeps it interesting.”

Crover’s desire to play the drums was initially fueled as a young teen by the music of KISS and Ted Nugent. “I took lessons for a while, starting on snare drum, but my drum teacher knew that I wanted to play rock,” he says. “He was like a jazz drummer, so he went out and got me a Carmine Appice book.” Vanilla Fudge veteran Appice and Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward would become major influences on his playing with the Melvins, which may be best described as a slow-motion train wreck delivered with incredible precision, sans click track.

“It is hard to play slow, but I’ve never really had to use a click unless it’s for something where the drums might not start the song, or if it’s with a drum machine,” Crover says. “Usually, if it speeds up a little bit, it’s no big deal. We’re not worried about it being completely in time for the whole song. We’re interested in the feel.”

Other hallmarks of Crover’s playing include heavy use of a ribbon crasher; heavy crashing on a massive 24- or 26-inch ride; heavy pounding with heavy sticks on heavy, oversized drums, and heavy heaviness, period. “I got the idea of wearing gardening gloves from Bob Bert” of Pussy Galore and Sonic Youth, he says. “I’d been using these drummer gloves that cost like 25 bucks a pop and are made of leather died black that bleed all over your hands, but these gardening gloves are totally cheap and I just go to the hardware store and buy a giant box to use for the whole tour.”

In addition to the Melvins, Crover sings and plays guitar with a stoner-rock side project called Altamont. He’s also been branching out into session work, and he performed on several tracks on the debut album by rising country star Hank Williams III. “It was sort of a typical Nashville situation, and the producer was like, ‘Wow, you play drum fills! I can’t get these other studio drummers to play drum fills,’” Crover says. Unfortunately, he’s still waiting for a call-back.

Proudest recorded moments: “Sometimes some of the simple stuff I think is really good. There’s a song on this record we did called The Bootlicker called ‘Let It All Be,’ and I really like the drum beat to that song—it’s really simple and kind of minimal. Actually, Buzz wrote that on the drum machine and I just took it and made it a little bit different and a little more groovy. I guess any of the slow stuff would also be a good example of a signature sound or whatever, but I think that we can do so many different things and have no limitations that I don’t know if I could pinpoint a single song. If you want to check out a bunch of different styles that I can do, listen to Stag. That would probably be the one album that I would pick.”

His gear: “I’ve been playing Tama drums for a while. I have an endorsement, and they made me a drum set five or six years ago with a 26-inch kick, 16-inch rack, 24-inch floor tom, and a 20-inch gong bass drum. I have a couple of different snare drums—brass and wood—and they’re all Artstar Customs. I also use an old 1948 Gretsch kit that’s smaller—24, 13, and 16. I use that a lot for recording because it sounds great. With those three-ply shells, you hit the rack and the floor at the same time and it sounds like a chord, but if I play that too long and then go back to the big set, it’s like driving a tank!

“I’ve gotten some stuff from Paiste—I break a lot of cymbals, a couple per tour—and I don’t use crashes per se; everything’s a crash. I also have a gong, and I try to use it as much as possible—at least enough to make it worth taking on the road. I’m on my third gong now; I break those, too. The day after Kurt Cobain died, we had just come back from Europe and we were in Portland, Maine, and to make myself feel better I went out and bought a gong. That one’s really beat now, but I finally bought a brand new one, a Paiste 32-inch.”


After Sabbath’s Ward and the Melvins’ Crover, Bjork is the name most often cited as an influence by other drummers in the burgeoning genre, based primarily on his groundbreaking playing on the first few recordings by Kyuss: Wretch, Blues for the Red Sun, and Kyuss (Welcome to Sky Valley).

Named for “the sons of Kyuss,” monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Kyuss first came together around guitarist Josh Homme and vocalist John Garcia in the small Southern California town of Palm Desert in the late ’80s. The band members moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and signed to Chameleon Records after 13 performances in the big city. All of their dreams seemed to be coming true, but after two years of non-stop touring, Bjork abruptly quit and ceded the drum throne to his friend and fellow desert rat, Alfredo Hernandez.

“I just burned out,” Bjork says. “I was drinking too much and smoking too much—I was an 18-year-old kid who was playing in this crazy rock band and I had no idea of what I was doing. I was just lucky that I was smart enough to realize that I had to stop before it killed me.”

The aspect of Bjork’s playing that other drummers love most is the huge wash of a massive ride cymbal that hovers over a heavy riff like an ominous storm cloud. “It probably comes from growing up in the garage,” he says. “It was loud, and I was never the best drummer. I was never technically very good—I taught myself how to play—and I just wanted to be heard and to make noise. I didn’t know what the difference was between a ride and a crash. When you’re playing punk rock and heavy rock as a kid with loud guitars, there were a lot of areas where in between riffs where the music would breathe, and I didn’t want to hear that little ping-y sound. When you ping on the ride, it’s almost like playing a note on the guitar, and when you crash on the ride, it’s like playing a power chord on the guitar. So I just kind of filled up some space.”

Bjork has always filled a bigger role than just playing drums; he also plays guitar and bass, and he wrote some of Kyuss’s most memorable songs, including the anthemic “Green Machine.” He continues to contribute to the songwriting for Fu Manchu; he produced the band’s first album, 1994’s No One Rides for Free, and he joined on drums in time for 1997’s Action Is Go. He has also recorded a psychedelic and soulful solo album, Jalamanta, credited to Brant Bjork and the Operators and released on Man’s Ruin in 1999.

“I’ve never said, ‘I wanna be the drummer.’ I just loved music and I wanted to make records,” Bjork says. “As a kid, I was almost listening as a producer, before I even knew what that word meant. Punk rock allowed a kid like me with low self-confidence to get involved in music and start performing. I chose drums simply because they looked like the most exciting instrument, but I was equally compelled to play guitar and bass and create music as a whole. It was sort of a challenge, because I was caught in this stereotypical role of being the drummer—the guy with the backbeat who sits in the back and holds the rhythm—but I also wanted to take on some responsibilities as far as creating and art and writing songs. I had things I wanted to express.”

As for how his drumming has developed, Bjork is self-deprecating to a fault. “I was never a studious drummer; I was interested in playing great songs,” he says. “Let’s face it: It begins and ends with songs. If you don’t write great songs, big deal. In Kyuss, I never even thought like, ‘I’m the beat guy and I’m gonna lock in with the bassist to play a tight rhythm.’ I was like, ‘I’m gonna lock in with Josh and watch the way he strums and the way we move from chord to chord and the progressions and I’m just gonna roll with him.’ It was just kind of a natural thing.”

Proudest recorded moments: “There’s a song on Welcome to Sky Valley (Elektra Records) called ‘Demon Cleaner’; it was a first take, and there was a roll that was kind of my version of Ginger Baker. It probably sounds nothing like Ginger Baker, but that’s kind of where my head was at at the time—this rhythmic roll thing on the toms. And I really liked the drumming on the first track of the last Fu Manchu record [King of the Road, Mammoth Records], ‘Hell On Wheels.’ I thought that was a good one; it just had a lot of energy and it kind of flowed nicely. I always like to hear flow.”

His gear: “I don’t really have any endorsements; I’m not real good in that department. I’ve played Ludwig drums my whole life. Ironically, I’ve just ordered and received today a new kit that I’m gonna try out for the new Fu Manchu record, and if I like it, I’ll tour with it. It’s a clear Fibes. I bought some Ludwig Vistalites a few years ago, and I used them on the Brant Bjork and the Operators record. They’re beautiful, and I love the Vistalite sound. But my Ludwigs are ’75, and I didn’t want to take them on the road.”


As the longtime drummer in Red Bank, New Jersey’s Monster Magnet, Kleiman is all about devoting himself to the song and playing exactly what’s right for bandleader Dave Wyndorff’s hard-hitting but ultra-melodic tunes.

“I’m self-taught, no formal education—I never learned how to do a paradiddle or whatever, and my left hand is basically like having a dead herring strapped to my shoulder,” Kleiman says, laughing. “I’m not as good, of course, but I consider myself to be in the Ringo school of things, where your style is your main selling point. In the beginning, I knew that I wasn’t great, and I couldn’t do the things that I heard. I was listening to a lot of Mitch Mitchell at that point, and I was like, ‘God damn! I can’t do any of this, so I’m just gonna make up for it by doing a fill every other measure!’”

Kleiman started playing the drums as a teenager in punk bands gigging around South Jersey. He joined Monster Magnet after its first single and has played with the group ever since, progressing with it from the Hawkwind-inspired psychedelic sludge of early albums like Spine of God and Dopes to Infinity, through the more tuneful and focused efforts of Powertrip (a gold-selling hit for A&M Records) and the new album, God Says No. The latter is a veritable tour of different stoner-rock styles, from the straightforward stomp of “Melt” to the organ-driven garage-band rave-up of “Heads Explode,” and from the twisted Robert Johnson-on-mushrooms blues of “Gravity Well” to the Middle Eastern drone of “Cry.”

“I was never too into the stoner-rock thing,” Kleiman says.” I just thought it was an excuse to rip off Black Sabbath and not be able to write songs. It’s fun to jam on stuff some times, and certainly we’ve done it—that song ‘Tab’ was like 30 minutes long—but I didn’t ever really consider us stoner rock. We’re more creative than that. Dave’s songs—he tends to arrange in pretty odd ways sometimes. It isn’t like, ‘This song is really easy; it’s verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/out.’ It’s like, ‘This song starts on a bridge, then there’s a pre-chorus, then there’s a verse into a bridge….’ That’s the only thing that’s a major obstacle or me; I just have to make really detailed notes if I don’t know the song absolutely by heart.”

Unlike many stoner-rock bands which emphasize the importance of group dynamics in the studio, Monster Magnet does all of its jamming in intense rehearsals long before entering the studio. When it came time to record God Says No, Kleiman played alone. “I think I played better that way,” he says. “There were no distractions, and by then I knew how the song went in my head so well that I could hear other people’s parts.”

Like many of his stoner-rock peers, Kleiman also has a side project, rockabilly/garage band the Ribeye Brothers. Original Monster Magnet vocalist Tim Cronin sings and plays banjo, while Kleiman does everything else; he says the group serves as a healthy outlet for doing all of the things that he can’t do in Monster Magnet.

Proudest recorded moments: “I think I overplayed a lot in the beginning, especially on Superjudge. Spine of God was more psych, so I didn’t have to do that so much. As I’ve progressed, I think my style has gotten a lot simpler; my drumming has gotten simpler as I’ve gotten to be a better player. God Says No is all about the grooves.”

His gear: “I used to have two of those piece of shit Vistalite sets—mine sounded like crap because the bearing edges were all fucked-up. Now I play out on the road on this really nice Slingerland set. I have a deal with them, and I love the sound and really like the look. I love that wide-open ’60s sound, but the drum sound that I like unfortunately doesn’t always fit into Monster Magnet. When I play at home in my home studio, there’s some changes I have to make for when I go out on the road. I’m using Aquarian heads now, and they’ve been really accommodating. I’ll use their American Vintage heads in the studio, and they’re really great for that ’60s sound.”


After Bjork left Kyuss, Trautmann got the call from bandleader Josh Homme to come to the desert for an audition. He played with the group for two weeks, but the gig eventually went to Alfredo Hernandez, and Trautmann was heartbroken. Homme didn’t forget him, though; he called Trautmann again to play on half of 2000’s Rated R (Interscope), the second album by his new band, the Queens of the Stone Age. Trautmann is now a member of the touring group as well.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Trautmann started playing along to records when he was 11 or 12. “The KISS Halloween special was sort of like that moment of clarity that told me I wanted to be involved and I had to do this for living,” he says. He began playing in punk bands in high school and eventually joined a group called the Miracle Workers, who were dedicated to reviving the first-generation punk of mid-’60s garage bands like the Standells and the Count Five. He followed the band to Los Angeles and played with it on several albums, in addition to touring the U.S. and Europe.

Though he has always had wide-ranging tastes as a listener, Trautmann is particularly inspired as a musician by some of his stoner-rock forebears. “To be honest, I listen a lot to what Brant Bjork has done, and also to what Alfredo Hernandez has done,” he says. “Part of that is due to the fact that they worked with Josh, and what they did was really great. My main thing that I listen to in what Brant Bjork does and what I aspire to is his right hand and the 16th notes on the ride cymbal—filling up the empty spaces with a shimmering cymbal sound. Conversely, stylistically, I really love the English rock drummers from the ’70s, like John Bonham and Mitch Mitchell. They were like jazz-trained guys playing in a rock medium with a lot of more finesse in their chops and the ability to do more subtle things. I guess that’s where my own path is more divergent from the straight-ahead thing.

“To me, drumming is about complementing the song, and different drummers approach jams or open-ended songs in different ways,” Trautmann adds. “I think ultimately with rock music, the style that’s demanded is the ability to be really solid and simple, so I think the challenge in longer jam-like songs is to not overplay and to keep things interesting. You can’t give it away all at once. When I hear some recordings, I bum out when the drummer is just all over the place all the time, trying to fill in the spaces without respect to the song structure.”

The Queens are more melodic, more psychedelic, and more drone-oriented than Kyuss, and Homme drives his musicians hard to hit the limits of their creativity. “I like that,” Trautmann says. “I don’t want to be in a band where we get to rest on our laurels or where it becomes a formula, because then it becomes boring and my playing ultimately becomes boring. Basically, this is the best gig I’ve ever had. I love what I do with them, we travel extensively, and we tend to have a pretty grueling tour schedule—we play almost every day. It’s what I’ve always strived to do, and I get to do that now, and being involved in the recording process with them is better than anything I’ve done in the past.”

Proudest recorded moments: “I like ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’ because I feel like I had a lot to do with the way the song ended up sounding. It’s all based on the beat, a very drum-driven thing. Josh just gave me the song and said, ‘What would you do with this?’ I did that pounding rhythm and he said, ‘Wow, that’s perfect!’ I also like ‘Monster in the Parasol.’ I didn’t do it to a click track and it’s really tight and disco-y, and I like that. There’s a song that’s not actually on the record, it’s a European B-side called ‘Ode to Clarissa,’ and that’s really awesome; it’s got a great Bow-wow-wow/Bo-Diddley tom-tom thing in the middle of it. It’s really punk rock and very much like me.”

His gear: “I’ve got a vintage ’69 Camco set; 26x14 kick, 10x14 rack, and 16x18 and 18x20 floor toms. I’ve got a 1940’s WFL 6x14 snare drum, and I play Zildjian cymbals—I have an endorsement with them. I’ve got a 24-inch ride, 19- and 20-inch crashes, and a 20-inch ride as a crash, and they’re all A’s. I also have a set of bongos and a cowbell and a tambourine, and that’s basically the set-up.”


The English branch of the stoner-rock movement tends to be darker than the American; not for nothing do they call the music “doom” on the other side of the Atlantic. Sitting somewhere in the middle—geographically and sonically—is sHEAVY (pronounced “Chevy,” like the car), a band that first came together in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada in 1993.

“We were called Green Machine in the beginning because we couldn’t think of a name and because we played ‘Green Machine’ by Kyuss,” Ren Squires says. Not surprisingly, Bjork’s playing was a major influence on sHEAVY’s drummer, along with punk-rock groups like the Misfits and classic stoner-rock influences like Black Sabbath. In fact, singer Steve Hennessey’s vocal resemblance to Ozzy Osbourne has garnered countless Sabbath comparisons, even though the pummeling but melodic sound of songs like “Quincy the Pig Boy” and “Alcofuel” embraces other influences as diverse as the Melvins, Deep Purple, and mid-’70s Pink Floyd.

Another self-taught musician, Squires graduated from playing along with records on a rubber practice-pad kit in his bedroom to drumming for punk-rock garage bands. “I was in four or five punk-rock bands before I started to realize what I wanted to play,” he says. “I started off fast and realized that playing slow was a lot more fun. Then I started getting into music that was slowed down, the kind of psychedelic stuff from the ’70s.

“When I’m playing in sHEAVY, I like to picture myself as the guy in Deep Purple, Ian Paice. He’s just so smooth, and he’s doing really complicated stuff which I can’t even touch. It’s amazing—the smoothness, and when he’s solid, he’s so solid; especially with the last record, that’s what I really tried to do. Other than that, I don’t really think about playing drums, I just kind of do it. I don’t have any real training, and I don’t know any technical terms. I can’t read music or anything like that. I just sit there and go bangity-bang. I should be embarrassed to tell you this, but between Electric Sleep and Celestial Hi-Fi, I literally didn’t pick up my drum sticks. Playing drums for me just kind of happens. I’ve got no interest to play drums unless there’s other music going on.”

In addition to drumming for sHEAVY, Squires manages the band and runs an Internet-only stoner-rock record store, Dallas Tarr, which can be found through the band’s web site, Because of the distance and the expense, sHEAVY has yet to do a major tour of the U.S., and things are further complicated for the group by the fact that Hennessy has relocated to Texas for his day job. Still, the band continues to come together for recordings like the recent Celestial Hi-Fi (The Music Cartel), and its albums are favorites with stoner-rock aficionados.

Squires has fewer problems being linked to the genre than some of his fellow musicians, though he is dismayed by some bands’ lack of creativity. “I always think, ‘Man, if they’re lumping us into a category with like 20 other bands that I like equally as much as my own band, that’s just dandy,” he says. “On the other hand, I hate to thing of things in terms of ‘scenes,’ and it is kind of getting redundant. There are a lot of good bands that are still doing what they always did—which is changing over time—and then there are all these other young bands that are popping up doing what was already done five or six years ago: big fuzz and a little psychedelic breakdown middle part and then back into something heavy with a scream. And that’s just terrible.”

Proudest recorded moments: “I think it’s ‘Strange Gods, Strange Altars’ or ‘Solarsphere’ from Celestial Hi-Fi; I forget which. It starts off with a drum roll. Those two songs, when we recorded them, they appeared on the album the same way we recorded them, like back to back immediately one after the other in the studio, so I get them confused. My next one would probably be ‘Tales from the Afterburner,’ just because it’s slow and I actually kept in time. I can’t see how Dale Crover does it—that guy, he hits weird chimes and stuff instead of keeping a beat, and it sounds like he’s playing with two-by-fours!”

His gear: “The drums themselves are a Canadian kit called Canwood made in British Columbia. I got them used; all my kit is low-budget stuff that I stumbled across. The cymbals are mishmash of everything; I’ve got a big Paiste ride that I’ve been using for years and years, and some Sabian Fusion hi-hats, and whatever crash I can find at the time. They’re small; the kick drum is 20-inch, but it’s long, so it’s like a little cannon. But otherwise, no fancy stuff here; I’m a low-budget drummer! In fact, when my friend heard that I was going to be in Modern Drummer, he was like, ‘But you don’t even have good drums! I’m the one with all the fancy gear!’”

SUBJECTS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH: The key independent labels in stoner rock all have sites on the web: England’s Rise Above is at, The Music Cartel is, and Man’s Ruin is at The Web is also home to several fine fanzines, including Roadburn ( and Stoner Rock Rules (, as well as a spirited newsgroup (

Other albums that are well worth investigating include Orange Goblin, Time Traveling Blues (The Music Cartel); Nebula, To the Center (Sub Pop); Scissorfight, Wonderdrug—Up the Dosage (Wonderdrug); Cathedral, Soul Sacrifice/Statik Majik (Earache); The Men of Porn, Porn American Style (Man’s Ruin); Acid King, Busse Woods (Man’s Ruin); Terra Firma, Terra Firma (The Music Cartel); Atomic Bitchwax, The Atomic Bitchwax (Tee Pee/MIA), and Electric Wizard, Dopethrone (The Music Cartel).

The roots and inspirations of these sounds—as well as some of the best drumming in the history of hard-rock—can be heard on albums like Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality (Warner Bros.), Hawkwind’s 25 Years On 1973-1977 box set (Griffin Music), Blue Cheer’s Vincebus Eruptum (Mercury), Deep Purple’s Machinehead (Warner Bros.), and Blue Öyster Cult’s Workshop of the Telescopes best-of compilation (Sony).