Buried Treasure: Lowrider & Sparzanza Split 7″ Misprint

The way I understand it, there were 500 misprinted copies of the 1997 split 7″ between Lowrider and fellow Swedish heavy rockers Sparzanza. Nothing tragic, just labels that were on the wrong side — which probably would be tragic, so yeah. These reportedly sat in Lowrider bassist/vocalist Peder Bergstrand‘s house for years and years, doing nothing, until he finally threw them out. Then the band got back together! Timing is everything, my friends.

But for some demos, Lameneshma/Burnin’ Boots was basically the first release for both bands. Of course, Lowrider would go on to include the track on their 1998 split with Nebula as the first of their four cuts, but the song didn’t make it to their only full-length to date, Ode to Io (2000), and while since that album is one of the best Swedish heavy rock releases ever I can’t really question the decision — that is to say, Ode to Io worked out just fine — the song was a highlight of that Nebula split and even in the rougher form on the Sparzanza split is a maddeningly catchy desert rocker. “Lameneshma” is probably the best use of the “Thumb” riff since Kyuss did it.

And naturally, with the vocal effects and the turns the song makes instrumentally, Lowrider were building off that landmark progression more than just aping it. Considering how nascent that wave of Swedish heavy rock was at the time — Mother Superior had their first record out and Dozer and The Awesome Machine were starting to pick up, but otherwise you start getting into more garage stuff like The Hellacopters, who I always thought were working on a different plane, even then — that Lowrider would’ve taken the influence of desert rock and made it their own like they did is all the more impressive. I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise their influence continues to spread.

As for Sparzanza, their “Burnin’ Boots” is rawer than one might expect who’s maybe encountered their more recent works like 2012’s Death is Certain, Life is Not or 2011’s Folie à Cinq (both released on Spinefarm), but though I’ve always put them in that same category of bands who started out playing stoner rock and then nestled into a more commercially viable European heavy rock burl — thinking of groups like Mustasch or what Dozer might’ve done after Call it Conspiracy had Mastodon’s influence not crept in with such brilliant results — that’s not to take anything away from the band’s songwriting. It’s not as complex or fully toned as “Lameneshma,” but especially for a band who rode the stoner wave and continued long after its (alleged) crash — they’re currently touring — it’s a more than respectable glimpse at ideas they’d develop later.

Nothing’s ever really gone completely, but from what I hear, this is the last of the misprinted 7″s between the two bands, all the others having sat for so long before being tossed. Pressed on clear red vinyl and arriving in a plain red sleeve, it’s a piece of heavy rock history that I feel lucky to own. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some ears, but it’s true. I’ve had Lowrider on the brain since they were announced as taking part in this year’s Desertfest with Dozer, and even as they pick up again and continue to play more shows, an early release like this is given a whole new context. Needless to say, Lameneshma/Burnin’ Boots will be kept in a cool, dry place and treasured for years to come.

Lowrider, “Lameneshma”

Lowrider on Thee Facebooks

Sparzanza on Thee Facebooks

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One Response to “Buried Treasure: Lowrider & Sparzanza Split 7″ Misprint”

  1. Jose Humberto says:

    Cool! but I want new stuff from Lowrider

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