Admittedly, my days of smoking a ton of weed are years behind me. Hell, my definition of what ‘a ton of weed’ is probably vastly different than most people’s because, truthfully, I’ve always been a bit of a lightweight when it comes to that stuff. So why exactly am I confessing my inabilities to handle the green? Well, because today’s premiere is all about the stoner rock.
Now, I’ll just skip over all of the Cheech and Chong references because, frankly, it would be a disservice to the band in question today. That band is Lowrider and the smoke-filled present they have given us a few days before release is Refractions. ‘As the preeminent band out of the gate in the late 90s post-Kyuss wake, Lowrider‘s debut EP and seminal album Ode To IO were foundational slabs at the dawn of stoner rock. The swinging metal offshoot grew quickly into a worldwide phenomenon, with Lowrider established as one of its undeniable trailblazers.’
You all know the drill by now when it comes to these premieres – if you’re digging what you’re hearing, you can preorder the album through Blues Funeral Recordings here. The album itself is set to be released February 21, 2020.
When I first hit play on Refractions and heard the first song “Red River”, I admit I was bracing myself for more of that typical stoner rock shit. Cynical as I am, I’ve heard all of it before and was not looking forward to another go at it. Alas, as I made my way through the record, I felt myself becoming more and more amped up to hear what Lowrider had to offer. Lowrider doesn’t give us typical, they go all out in an almost jam band approach.
Lowrider makes me excited for winter to be over because when I listen to Refractions, I can feel myself sitting in the middle of an outdoor music fest on a bright, sunny day surrounded by smoke and good tunes. The jam band method gets me real fucking stoked because it feels like the songs could evolve from the five-minute pieces they are to a 20-minute improvised session on stage. My bleary eyes have been opened to what stoner rock can offer thanks to songs like “Ode To Ganymede”, “Sernanders King”, and “Pipe Rider”.
I assume the song “Pipe Rider” is about plumbers and nothing else.