A while ago, we at SuperMetal, were contemplating on writing about a rarely seen kind of one-hit-wonder bands, the kind of band that releases an awesome debut album, then, kind of inexplicably, vanishes off the face of the earth, only re-emerging for a few shows. The possibly sane reasons for a band disappearing like that are close to nonexistant (ok, it pretty much can only be money), so it’s always disappointing when it happens, especially in comparison to bands with repeated failures that keep re-releasing their remastered bootlegs and just refuse to die.
The first (and only) two bands we thought of were Lowrider and POEM. We immediately started going off into simultaneous rants about how hopeful and inspiring it is that some bands seem to instantly get a handle on how this music thing is done, and how awesome it would be if they returned to the studio once more, to grace our ears with their kickass music. Well, some preliminary research uncovered that both of these bands are already working on their second album, with POEM being close to release. Lowrider haven’t entered the studio yet, but have a large portion of the writing completed, according to (comments in) their facebook page. I guess now our only course of action is to probably just quit our jobs and then rant about how one million dollars falls into each of our pockets.
Lowrider’s Ode To IO epitomizes pure, unapologetic stoner rock. Although their singer is also their bassist, their vocals are spot on, sometimes reminiscent of Phil Anselmo, sometimes of no one in particular, and sometimes with a style of their own. Guitars are appropriately heavy and groovy, tuned just above the seventh circle of hell. Lastly, the drumming in this album is kickass, even though I always am overly critical of drummers, partly because I am a drummer myself, but more significantly because I believe the rhythm section can mostly get away with even lukewarm performances.
The band shows their hand early, which is a good thing, because there’s hardly anything subtle in their kind of music. They kick it off strong with groovy Caravan, and steadily pick up the pace, starting with Flat Earth, by which point the album already sounds promising. They go on to round with one of the their heaviest songs, Dust Settlin’, then immediately give us a breather with an interlude, in the form of Sun Devil. The album maintains the pace until its culmination, with a quintessential stoner rock song, Texas (Pt. I & II), which seems to me kind of an odd title, because I can never tell the end of part one or the beginning of part two. That’s not to say the rest of the tracks are shabby. Lowrider take care to whet your appetite where it counts most, by saving some of their grooviest rhythms for both the beginning and the end.
It’s ironic that this album’s biggest appeal is also its only black mark. Perhaps it takes the stoner rock thing a bit too seriously, in the sense that maybe a few of the songs could stand to be a little shorter and less repetitive. Nevertheless, the child in me is balls out excited for some new stoner rock goodness by Lowrider, though the adult in me, after their 16 year hiatus, is counseling managed expectations, or some shit like that.