All Hail Nuhgjahre

Stoner Rock Is Alive And Smoking

By Yvonne Stegall

If you are not a stoner, you may think that stoner rock is dead. However, one little band from the Midwest, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is working on proving that this genre of music is still very much alive. The thing with this genre of music is that it isn’t something you are going to hear on the radio. So, if you aren’t visiting the dive bars and local watering holes that host live music, or spending some time listening to lesser known music, you may be missing out on a whole bunch of great tunes.

Nuhgjahre is a stoner metal duo, and their music mostly revolves around the mythical creature sasquatch. Hey, when you’re high who knows what you’ll see, right? They released a fourth album, Memorial Day Mass, in November of 2015. If you take some time to peruse their Bandcamp page you will find some story of shower ring sales, but knowing the local music scene in Grand Rapids will tell you that you can’t even trust that the members of the band have shared their real names with you. That doesn’t matter, it’s the music that matters.

Listening to The Music

Knowing that this particular album was completely recorded live as a two-piece with no overdubs, and the fact that they used a loop pedal in order to get atmospheric layers, with have you utterly amazed as you listen to the music.  The addition of movie samples after recording just adds something more to the sound.

There is a lot going on in each of these four songs, but not so much that it gets annoying. It’s somewhat like watching a movie in your head while you listen. And, if you just don’t have the imagination, the band has done corresponding videos for each of the four songs, like this one for Doomsday Machine.

If you feel like music just doesn’t work without vocals, you are insane, and you wouldn’t like listening to Nuhgjahre. Or, maybe if you listened to them their music may change your mind. With so much going on you forget that there are no actual song lyrics and you can easily get lost in the track itself. The movie samples also help you forget that no one is actually singing.

If you’ve listened much to vocal-less music, you know that often, if a band isn’t that great, the music can drag on and on. This stoner metal band doesn’t have that issue. Even at over ten minutes, Laserblast never gets boring. The best song on the album is the third one, Voyage to The Planet of Prehistoric Women. It just has a great beat to it, more so than the other songs. It has something danceable to the beat.

The four song recording finishes out with Mission to Mars, which is probably the heaviest of all of the songs. However, you’ll notice that it is a roller coaster of emotions as you listen. What starts out heavy grows extremely mild, only to change to crazy loud music once again as the song persists. It is the epitome of stoner rock.

For those that are already fans of this genre, Nuhgjahre adds more complexity to the music and gives you something to think about as you listen. Science fiction fans will love the theme of the album, as well as the sound. If you are new to this music, you may find yourself attracted to the complexities of it. Listening to the music’s many layers can get you lost in the sound. It’s probably good that it is only four songs long or you’d get lost in the space in your head for hours listening.

Published January 8th, 2016

Yvonne Stegall is a professional freelance writer who got her start in music reviews. She managed to build on that love of writing and became editor of the music magazine she did reviews for. Since then, Yvonne has gone on to write on many subjects, including health & wellness and beer.