For nearly 20 years, Lowrider was considered one of, if not the greatest one-album wonders in stoner rock history. While their 1999 split with Nebula on MeteorCity helped put the band on the map, 2000’s full-length Ode to Io was their defining moment, a record that arguably did for Swedish heavy rock what Blues for the Red Sun mighta done stateside. (Would there ever be Truckfighters without Lowrider? Probably not…)
But the band disbanded a couple years later, without ever releasing a sophomore album – until now. Following reunion gigs at Hellfest and a few Desertfests in the twenty-teens, we now finally have a follow-up album, almost two full decades later. And even after all this time, Refractions doesn’t stray too far from the sound of their debut.
“Red River” kicks things off with a fuzz-laden, distorted stoner-rock riff, moving along at a comfortable, head-nodding pace, chucking in a couple solid breakdowns just in time for the chorus. Things slow to a crawl past the three-minute mark, before a crashing crescendo of riffs brings us back to desert-rock bliss.
The opening riff from “Ode to Ganymede” sounds like it came from Josh Homme, although this nearly seven-minute number veers out of Kyuss territory with an extended instrumental jam around the midway mark that even throws a little organ into the mix. Eight-minute “Sernanders Krog” is another spacey, driving stoner jam, which might not sound out of a place on a more recent Truckfighters record, before a ripping Kyuss-style guitar solo around the 4:15 mark takes things on a more psychedelic, instrumental turn.
For pure head-nodding pleasure, the mid-tempo boogie of “Ol’ Mule Pepe” definitely does the trick. The instrumental “Sun Devil/M87” brings early Monster Magnet to mind, before the 11-and-a-half-minute desert rock epic “Pipe Rider” brings the album to a close. Man, I can’t wait to hear what these guys put out in 2040!!!