20 Songs Not to Listen To If You’re High For The First Time


I was 14. It was me, Nick, and David, and we managed to escape David’s family’s apartment to “go for a walk.” Nick had the back-half of a massive joint, bestowed upon him by a friend of his sister’s. It made my throat burn like nothing I’d ever felt, and I doubled over coughing, but managed to get a bit into my lungs. We circled the block, and I felt nothing. I was bummed — this was my second time getting burned with bad weed. Then, in the elevator, the buttons made no sense. That was hilarious. I burst into uncontrollable whooping laughter. My friends turned red. Later that night, I ate most of a box of saltines.

The first time you get high is rad, but it’s also volatile, especially if you’re young. Everyone’s very used to their thoughts and desires dictating who they are, but weed makes your thoughts, That looks cool, and your desires edible. As such, the wrong piece of stimulus behind one’s first stoned moment can mule-kick a first-timer out of their comfort zone way too soon. And if there’s any form of art that is both incredibly powerful while high and able to cleave someone’s mind in twain, it’s music.

So please, if you’re high for the first time this 4/20 — don’t listen to these 20 songs…

Eyehategod, “My Name Is God (I Hate You)” (Dopesick, 1996)

The name alone is enough to scare off the unseasoned stoner. But it’s really the song, a pained gush of sludge and drug spit, that’ll make a first-time smoker shudder and shake their head violently. As harshed a buzz as you’ll ever find on tape.

Carpathian Forest, “The Good Old Enema Treatment” (Strange Old Brew, 2000)

This “song” isn’t a song so much as a stylized recording of Asian enema porn. The worst part is that unless you speak Japanese (at least we think it’s Japanese) and have good hearing, you’re not quite sure what is happening until it slowly dawns on you in a moment of disgust. And slow-dawning horror is never something a newbie needs to experience during their first blaze.

Cryptopsy, “Flame to the Surface” (Whisper Supremacy, 1999)

When potheads complain about metal being “too angry?” They’re talking about “Flame to the Surface.” This song literally feels like the listener is being yelled at the entire time. Not a bad track by any means, but one that wasn’t written for a sunny afternoon.

Rwake, “Sleep and Forget Forever” (If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die, 2004)

It’s not that the closest thing to a ballad that Arkansas’ Rwake has ever written is a BAD track, or even that it’s very harsh. No, it’s more that this song feels like an invitation down the black hole of one’s self. It’s a call to darkness, and for a mind only recently touched by Mother Reefer, that can be deeply upsetting and off-putting. An awesome band while high, if you’re able to stand strong against the vortex.

The Locust, “Recyclable Body Fluids In Human Form” (Plague Soundscapes, 2003)

If the Locust are good for anything, it’s making music that sounds like your shoulder has been dislocated. “Recyclable Body Fluids” is a gorgeous short sharp shock of grind-infused madness that’ll excite your average metalhead – and terrifying someone high for the first time. Not for the faint of brain.

Red Harvest, “Godtech” (Sick Transit Gloria Mundi, 2002)

People sometimes forget how devastating this album was when it came out. “Godtech” is a perfect example of why, a deceptively deep soundtrack to a radiation-swept cyberscape. It’s a huge fucking bummer, is what it is, and will undoubtedly transport any first-time smoker into the clammiest parts of their psyche.

Autopsy, “Running From the Goathead” (The Headless Ritual, 2013)

A lot of Autopsy’s music is actually rad to listen to while high – but not “Running From the Goathead.” The frantic, stumbling track is without significant groove, and instead exists as a panic that one can’t pull themselves out of. Not only that, but it could leave a, shall we say, besmoketacled listener to fear an actual giant goat’s head bearing down on them. Like you do.

Pig Destroyer, “Jennifer” (Prowler In The Yard, 2001)

Like some of the other tracks on this list, one could argue that “Jennifer” isn’t exactly a ‘song.’ But maybe that’s why it’d be so detrimental to a first-time high person. They’re expecting another death metal track, and on comes this robotic description of a Hans Belmer sculpture. Definitely leaves a taste that no amount of munchies can wash away.

Crypt Rot, “Pit of Morbidity” (Embryonic Devils EP, 2017)

It’s not just that “Pit of Morbidity” is a solid atmospheric death metal song (it is) and that Atlanta’s Crypt Rot are fucking rad (they are). It’s the bizarre conversation between what sounds like a bedraggled guy and a sewer demon in the middle of the song. It’s just faint enough that the stoned listener will wonder if only they can hear it. And then they worry about ghosts, and then they flip the fuck out.

Anaal Nathrakh, “You Can’t Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying” (Vanitas, 2012)

British black metal duo Anaal Nathrakh are certainly known for writing barbed, misanthropic songs, but this one might take the cake. With an acerbic intro leading to a weep-along chorus, the song is as big as it is ugly, and that’s saying a lot. The poor stoner who lands on this one will be unable to skip it in their horror. 

Dying Fetus, “Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog” (Killing On Adrenaline, 1998)

I mean, the title does most of the day-ruining for you. But even the brave newfound weed-metaller who can venture past that will be pummeled by the track’s no-nonsense skullfuckery. A piece of music that exists simply to alienate those trying to listen to it.

Exgenesis, “Concrematio” (Aphotic Veil, 2016)

At the outset, “Concrematio” is actually a very stoner-friendly song – and if you’re a pro-smoker, it’ll continue to be. But the track’s atmospherics descend down such a dark emotional well that a newcomer trying to enjoy themselves can get easily pulled into it. No one wants to spend their first time high in the Sunken Place, and damn, Exgenesis take you there with this one.

Anything by Primitive Man

They may be from Denver, but Primitive Man aren’t here for your weed tourism. The trio’s music is the sonic equivalent of finding out that your overweight dad likes to stir a hot matchstick around in his peehole. First-time stoners won’t just dislike this band’s music, they should fear what it’ll make them think about.

Igorrr, “Viande” (Savage Sinusoid, 2017)

Imagine MC Hammer dancing in the “Can’t Touch This” video, only his entire head is a mouth, and he’s trying to imitate a turkey. That is what the opener of Igorrr’s 2017 masterpiece Savage Sinusoid sounds like. Definitely going to make the newbie smoker feel like they’re being yelled at.

Slayer, “Dead Skin Mask” (Seasons In The Abyss, 1990)

It’s slow, it’s interesting, it has powerful atmosphere – one might think that Slayer’s crunchiest jam would be a perfect addition to anyone’s weed playlist. Except the song’s themes of necrophilia and psychological degradation are definitely the kind of stuff that really seeps into a first-timer’s high. One of those songs where you take off the headphones and mumble, “No, no…” without ever really knowing why.

Lightning Bolt, “Dead Cowboy” (Hypermagic Mountain, 2005)

Here’s the thing: we’re not positive about this one. Either this song is going to sonically electrocute a newbie pot smoker, or it’s going to instantly engross them and make them a lifelong Lightning Bolt fan. So basically, you’re rolling the dice here. Good luck.

Skinless, “Tampon Lollipops” (Progression Towards Evil, 1998)

I mean, the fucking sample at the beginning, dude – that alone makes this one a goddamn nightmare. Sure, the track that follows is killer but scathing death metal, but at a certain point, who cares? That’s not why your cousin who decided to rip his first bong is shaking his head over and over. WOOF.

Scarlet, “The Joy Decoys Are Coming” (The Joy Decoys Are Coming, 2004)

This is the whole package, yo. It sounds like being seasick. It has lyrics about how your entire world is a fucking joke. Its anger is palpable. And here you are, taking a bite of that apple for the first time? Bad move, man. Wouldn’t recommend it.

1349, “To Rottendom” (Hellfire, 2005)

There’s a big difference between typical black metal and 1349. Black metal is often spooky and beautiful, but these Norwegians take things serious and militantly. This is music made with as little consideration for weed as possible. Stay away.

Six Feet Under, “4:20” (Warpath, 1997)

Cause that shit fuckin’ sucks.

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