As a general rule, Stoner Rock is usually slow-to-mid tempo and has a very bass driven sound, Kyuss would be a good example of this, it was once quoted, about Kyuss, that they - "almost single handed invented the phrase ‘Stoner Rock’. They achieved this by tuning way down and summoning up a subterranean, organic sound…" another band that was an huge influence in the early days of Stoner Rock were Sleep.
The style Stoner Rock, first came to light during the early 1990s mostly out of California, but its history can be traced back for many years before that.
Stoner vs Sludge
Due to the similarities between Stoner and Sludge, there is often a crossover between the two genres. This hybrid will feature hints of both styles, as well as elements of Hardcore Punk, Psychedelic Rock, Speed Metal, and of course, hints of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin appear in Stoner as well as Sludge. Electric Wizard is a great example of the kind of band that has bridged the gap between Doom Metal, Sludge, and Stoner.
Every Genres of music has origins and roots, and Stoner Rock is no exception, Stoner Rock has its known pioneers, that helped shape the genre. Blue Cheer are considered to be one of the originators, but sadly are a band that gets overlooked, with more of the credit going to the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and yes, it could well be argued that Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin pre-dated Blue Cheer, but Blue Cheer were one of the first to bands where that distinctive Stoner sound was first heard, around 25 years before the likes of Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Sleep.
Other bands that deserve some serious credit for forming and creating the Stoner sound, would be the likes of Cream, Deep Purple, Hawkwind and Blue Oyster Cult. A lot of the advancements that these bands added to the world of music, was things like "mind-bending jams" and "ultra-heavy riffs".
Into the late '80s and early '90s)
With their first album, Ultramega OK, in 1987, Soundgarden have been called "the standard-bearers of stoner rock during this time. In the early 1990s, the Doom Metal band Trouble introduced a lot of acid rock elements into sound, also, in 1991 the British band Cathedral released their debut album "Forest of Equilibrium", featuring a Stoner/Doom Metal style. The early–mid-1990s, saw a massive increase in bands producing the Stoner sound, mostly these were Californian bands.
In 1992, Kyuss became widely acknowledged as pioneers of the booming stoner rock scene of the 1990s, and like many pioneers, they enjoyed little commercial success during their brief existence, but were eventually cited as having created a milestone change in the world of music.
Also In 1992, the San Jose based Doom Metal Sleep released the album "Sleep's Holy Mountain". It became a favourite amongst the heavy metal press and the band was heralded, along with Kyuss, as leaders of the emerging stoner scene.
During the same year, New Jersey's Monster Magnet released their debut album, which displayed fewer metal influences but was psychedelic and sludgy, in the vein of their Californian peers.
Mid to late 1990s
Kyuss called it a day in 1995, with many of the members going on to form new projects, most of these projects featured stoner rock traits.
In 1997, Roadrunner Records released a Stoner Rock compilation entitled "Burn One Up! Music for Stoners", which included tracks by bands such as Fu Manchu, Celestial Season, and notably a track by (at the time) a new band named Queens of the Stone Age, another band which included a former Kyuss member, "Joshua Homme"
In August 1997, "Josh Homme" founded "The Desert Sessions" in Joshua Tree, California. The Desert Sessions are a musical collective series, and the first rendition included members from Monster Magnet, Kyuss, and Soundgarden. The result of the session was "Volume 1: Instrumental Driving Music for Felons". Over the years, many artists have contributed as songwriters and musicians, even PJ Harvey.
Into the 2000s
In June 2000, Josh Homme's new project Queens of the Stone Age released their breakthrough album "Rated R", which helped bring that Stoner Rock sound to mainstream attention, despite Queens of the Stone Age rejecting both the genre and their being labelled as such. "Songs for the Deaf", was their next release in 2002, this album finally bought the genre to the forefront, with a single from the album peaking at No. 1 in the US.
High On Fire
Masters of Reality