Lowrider

Ode to Io

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Pretenders to the stoner rock throne, Lowrider was hailed by many as the new Kyuss, and indeed they sound remarkably similar to the original masters of '90s retro-metal. Too similar, unfortunately; for despite their very impressive and unusually focused songwriting (a rarity in this genre; why do you think they call it stoner rock?), Lowrider seems to owe an insurmountable debt to their biggest influence. Excellent tracks like "Flat Earth," "Dust Settlin'," and "Anchor" are simply rife with the auditory signposts (crushing riffs, spacy interludes, an understanding for heavy/light dynamics) which point to Kyuss, making it almost impossible to award them the respect they deserve. The only notable exception is the slow-grooving "Riding Shotgun," which sounds just like Fu Manchu instead. They just can't win. But when placed in a historical vacuum, thunderous riff-rides like "Caravan" and "Saguaro" cannot be denied, and quite honestly leave a much more lasting impression than most anything issued by the likes of Nebula and even Fu Manchu. Therefore, serious fans of stoner rock are encouraged to put aside their prejudice and give Lowrider a chance.

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