by Jamila Pomeroy
Vancouver’s Hashteroid takes stoner rock in a thrashy, high tempo direction, proving the genre capacity is not contained to slow, droning riffs.
“We like to go fast,” says the trio, whose stoner rock/metal songs emit sonic reflections of bands like Motorhead and Black Sabbath.
While the new album was released this April, we can expect a limited run of about 300 records to be released soon. The band expresses their love for vinyl: “Records are like artifacts. It’s one thing to release something digitally, or as a CD, and another to release a vinyl.”
The band attributes their sound to key pieces of gear, such as a custom snare made of a sewer pipe, a Gibson SD (notably played by Toni Iommi of Black Sabbath, and occasionally Jimi Hendrix), and a Rickenbacker Cheyenne bass. The band takes lyrical inspiration from their frustrations with the world, and the pace at which things are changing.
“I’d say the lyrics are concerned with eschatology, heresy, and historical materialism,” says guitarist and singer Alex Gidora. This highlights that the band’s high tempo, thrashy music is not just angry in a juvenile or unjustified way – the band cares deeply for the state of the world, and for frameworks in society.
“‘Black Tide’ is maybe the most critical,” Gidora explains. “It’s about turning our sense of origin on its head. I think there’s a real danger in believing you come from something good. In reality, concepts of the good play out in moral hierarchies. Good is good against the bad. If we cleave to these myths that we come from and belong to pure stock, noble foundations, or the supreme revelation of truth, that creates a psychological necessity in the subject to preserve those illusions, and we mistake our own worth with that of belonging to this thing wrapped up in this purity myth, whether that thing be a religion, a nation, a race, a civilization, a tribe, or a mode of production. ‘Black Tide’ says we’re not pure – we come from scum, which is in a sense literally true.”
This care for the world and societal frameworks seems to transfer over into a love for their surroundings and the Pacific Northwest in general. While Hashteroid may be classified as stoner rock, or stoner metal, they fall far from the generalized stereotype of couch potato, lazy, bong-ripping bros. The cannabis reference is deeply rooted in the band’s name and aesthetic, but so is what could be interpreted as an asteroid, quickly moving through space. They like to get things done and enjoy themselves. When the band isn’t making music or touring, you can find them doing “west coast things” like hiking. This contrast between lifestyle and musical tempo within the budding Vancouver stoner rock/metal scene leads us to turn a new leaf on all the genre encompasses.
Hashteroid kick off their Canadian Tour with Dead Quiet at the Biltmore Cabaret on June 15.