I’ve never used Prisma, but putting together 5,800 of any kind of image to make an animated video out of it that then has to synch up with an actual song being played sounds like a ridiculously complicated editing job. Again, I’ve never done it. Maybe there’s some fabulous modern technology that makes that not at all a pain in the ass, but however they got there, Mos Generator‘s new video for “Catspaw” from their 2016 Listenable Records album, Abyssinia (review here), looks pretty sweet.
The Port Orchard, Washington, trio led by founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed continue their multi-pronged, multi-tiered attack on heavy rock consciousness as we move into the waning months of 2016. In addition to Abyssinia, they’ve also just put out The Firmament via Stickman Records, which captures a live performance with an expanded lineup recorded by Chris Joonior — who as fate would have it also helmed the “Catspaw” clip and who also now handles guitar/vocals in Ancient Warlocks — and they’ve got another batch of recordings in the can at Reed‘s HeavyHead studio that dip back to a collection of old hardcore tunes from the late ’80s. Two are streaming on Soundcloud (linked below).
Not sure if they’ll actually see release, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me if Reed pressed them up himself in some limited numbers, so keep an eye out. Mos Generator — Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett — have also toured the country coast to coast to support the new album, including a recent stop in Alaska. If you ever wanted a yardstick by which to measure a band’s touring habit, consider “driving to Alaska for a show” a pretty good one to use. They also play Erosion Fest in Missoula, Montana, on Oct. 15.
Bottom line? Mos Generator are out there breaking their collective ass to bring as much rock and roll as possible to as many people as possible. Expect the pace to continue, and enjoy the “Catspaw” clip below followed by some PR wire info and comment from Reed on their latest doings:
‘Catspaw’ is from Mos Generator’s new full length album “Abyssinia” available via Listenable Records.
Created using Prisma, neural network artificial intelligence, and lots of other pieces of software. Special thanks to Brian Mathews for hours of moral and technical support.
We would like to extend a massive thank you to Chris and Brian Mathews for using extra terrestrial intelligence to figure out how to make a video from 5800 Prisma images. We know it took a lot of time and effort. We truly appreciate it.
Out on Stickman Records (Motorpsycho, Elder, Spidergawd). THE FIRMAMENT. The soundtrack LP of our performance in the concert film “Songs for the Firmament”. We brought in some extra players for this and got quite Psych with it. Shows yet another side of our catalog. Check it out!!!
On august 1st we recorded 12 songs in 4 hours. All of them were hardcore songs I wrote circa ’86/’87 with my hardcore band “Lies of Liberty”. Here is a double shot of 2 of the tunes we have been throwing into the live set here and there. All of the songs will all be released on vinyl as soon as the tracks have a final mix and we find a label to put it out. This has been a super fun project, it’s great to hear these tunes properly recorded after 30 years.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m not sure I can even begin to convey yet how much of a pleasure it was to host Mars Red Sky at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer last month in Brooklyn. Being able to bring them to New York to play where they’d never been before for that gig (wrap here) was so special to me, and they were the perfect cap for the night, their blend of sweet melody and heavy tones just right for the vibe of the whole day. I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn or anything, it’s just that it worked out better than I could’ve hoped and I’m still thrilled about it.
By now, the Bordeaux-based trio have wrapped their shows on both US coasts about a week ago, also stopping at the venerable Psycho Las Vegas along their way from the Eastern Seaboard to the West, and they’ve just announced their next run through Europe — actually it’s already happening when you consider they played Reverence Valada this past weekend — with shows taking them into December to round out the year as they continue to support the stellar Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here) on Listenable Records.
Dates follow, as seen on the social medias:
MARS RED SKY Fall 2016 tour: Sep 17 La Poudrière Belfort, France Oct 01 La Nef AngoulÊme, France Oct 04 Petit Bain Paris, France Oct 07 Le Rocher de Palmer Cenon, France Oct 14 LE HUBLOT Nancy, France Oct 15 Le Brise Glace Annecy, France Oct 16 LE POSTE A GALENE Marseille, France Oct 27 Alte Hackerei Karlsruhe, Germany Oct 28 Klubovna Prague, Czech Republic Oct 29 festival Soulstone Gathering Cracow, Poland Oct 30 Klub Firlej Wroclaw, Poland Oct 31 Ostpol Dresden, Germany Nov 02 La Sirène La Rochelle, France Nov 10 6 PAR 4 Laval, France Nov 11 La Nouvelle Vague Saint Malo, France Nov 12 Monteray Live Stage Kyiv, Ukraine Nov 18 CAVE A MUSIQUE Macon, France Nov 19 FILE 7 Magny Le Hongre, France Dec 10 PAUL B. Massy, France Dec 16 Le Poche Bethune, France Dec 17 La Fourmi Limoges, France
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
By the time they get over there, the bulk of the jam-packed European fall festival season will be over, and I can’t help but think that works to Mos Generator‘s advantage. True, they’ll play at Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 3 with a considerable lineup that also includes Fatso Jetson and others, but I’d imagine rockers in a lot of the cities listed below will be hurting for a band they haven’t already just seen three times in the span of weeks, and so Mos Generator seem poised to make a standout impression.
They go supporting their upcoming EP, The Firmament, on Stickman Records and their new album, Abyssinia (review here), on Listenable Records, on which the songs benefit from the overall energy that the band has been able to harness from emerging over the last couple years as such a hard-touring act. Part of that was guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed rebuilding the trio from the ground up, but that too was a measure of sheer drive on his part that has ultimately worked to spread their classic-style boogie and groove, as their delivery of same is nigh on irresistible for anyone who’s ever dug into some riffs.
Heavy Psych Sounds, which is presenting the tour, had previously announced the run, but posted the dates accordingly with a few still TBA:
This will be insane !!
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records&Booking is proud to announce the European dates for ***Mos Generator*** tour
This will be supported by Black Bone from Netherland
New album Abyssinia is just been released on Listenable records
here the dates: 20.10.2016 IT Ravenna-Bronson* 21.10.2016 IT Torino-Blah Blah* 22.10.2016 IT Milano-Cox 18* 23.10.2016 IT Mantova-Hostaria* 24.10.2016 IT Bologna-Freak Out* 25.10.2016 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando* 26.10.2016 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse* 27.10.2016 IT Trieste tba* 28.10.2016 IT Parma-Mu/Hps fest Vol 3* 29.10.2016 DE Berlin-Cassiopeia* 30.10.2016 DE Radebeul-Barnyard Club* 31.10.2016 DE Hamburg tba* 01.11.2016 DE Munster-Rare Guitar Shop* 02.11.2016 DE Koln-Sonic Ballroom* 03.11.2016 DE Stuttgart-Keller Klub* 04.11.2016 CH Luzern-Bruch Bros* 05.11.2016 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk* 06.11.2016 DE Wiesbaden-Schlachthof* 07.11.2016 DE Mannheim-Tba* 08.11.2016 BE Bruxelles-Magasin 4* 09.11.2016 FR Nantes-La Scene Michelet 10.11.2016 FR Paris-Dr Feelgood Les Halles 11.11.2016 FR Lorient-Le Galion 12.11.2016 SP San Sebastian-Tba 13.11.2016 SP Zaragoza-Tba 14.11.2016 SP Gijon-Casino Acapulco 15.11.2016 PT Lisbon-Sabotage 16.11.2016 PT Porto-Cave 45 17.11.2016 SP Vigo-La Iguana Club 18.11.2016 SP Madrid-Tba 19.11.2016 SP Barcellona-Boveda *date with Black Bone
The countdown is on! We’re less than two weeks out from The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC (get your tickets here) and it’s time to get stoked for what’s sure to be a really special day. The lineup is insane — Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, Eye, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo, Heavy Temple — the room couldn’t be more perfect, and we’re not even there yet and I’m so into the vibe I can hardly even talk about it without getting choked up. To say I’m anticipating it is underselling the facts. I’m already losing sleep.
For the next two weeks, I’ll be featuring a different band on the lineup every day in this space. Some will have premieres, and that’s the case today as we start the series with Mars Red Sky. Their song “Seen a Ghost” first arrived on 2013’s Be My Guide EP (review here) that preceded the 2014 release of their second album and Listenable Records debut, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), on which it also appeared.
The album version neatly summarizes the progressive jump the Bordeaux trio made between their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and the subsequent full-length. Its march and its flourish combine perfectly with the breathy vocal melody from guitarist Julien Pras, and it has all the swirl of the first record while also clearly a building more individualized persona on top of that.
Mars Red Sky made a video for “Seen a Ghost” that’s never been shown anywhere until now, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the premiere of the clip. I have it on good authority — i.e. bassist Jimmy Kinast told me — they’ll be playing the song as part of their headlining set at The Obelisk All-Dayer as they have on select few occasions, and to my ears that only makes the whole thing more special.
[Stream ‘Catspaw’ from Mos Generator’s Abyssinia by clicking play above. Album is out July 15 in Europe and Aug. 5 in North America on Listenable Records.]
Nothing is 100 percent certain in life, but it’s a far safer bet that, when dealing with Mos Generator, you’re going to get straightforward, immaculately written heavy rock and roll, and that’s just what the Port Orchard, Washington, trio deliver on their third full-length since their 2012 resurgence (sixth overall, second for Listenable Records), Abyssinia. Now a seasoned road act after spending years functioning part-time, the band follows-up 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty with 10 songs that sound as assured in their execution as in their construction, bringing stage-hewn chemistry between guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/engineer/auteur Tony Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jon Garrett to a studio setting in a fashion that, as ever, is driven by a clarity of sound and purpose but maintains a heavy, classic presence beneath.
Duality is nothing new for Mos Generator — of whom I’ll say both that I’m a fan and that I consider Reed a friend — as Electric Mountain Majesty showed in its moments of underlying depressiveness and dissatisfaction. Abyssinia, with a title that’s reportedly playing off the Washington-state accent’s version of “I’ll be seein’ ya” but nonetheless uses the word “abyss” to make that play, has its moments of melancholy as well, whether it’s the slower roll of “As Above so Below,” “Wicked Willow” before it or the closing duo of “Time and Other Thieves” and “Outlander,” but that brooding is offset by a thrust greater even than the band showed on 2012’s Nomads (review here), songs like “Catspaw” and its side B counterpart “Red Canyons” pushing into what would be manic territory were Reed and company still not able to keep such a handle on the material.
Add to that last grouping the blown-out “There’s No Return from Nowhere” and the Captain Beyond-style shuffle over which “Time and Other Thieves” contemplates mortality and the double-edge of Mos Generator becomes even more apparent. In that, it’s a fitting answer to Electric Mountain Majesty, but the tracks as individual pieces are stronger, and it’s almost too easy to attribute that to the fact that the band has spent the better part of the last two years on tour — but they have — and so are able to deliver a song like “Easy Evil” with a defined purpose and an energy that rings true throughout the record, starting with opener “Strangest Times,” which launches immediately — no time for intros — into its first verse and seems to be the road song that Reed has been dying to write all these years, the line, “I’m just a slave to the strangest times that I’ve ever known,” belted out before each of the two solos.
Garrett starts “You’ve Got a Right,” which is a roller with a multi-layered vocal hook that presages some of the harmonies to come later on and flows easily into the tempo kick of “Catspaw.” Some classic metal riffing in the verse is offset by melodic flourish in the guitar — one of Mos Generator‘s greatest strengths has become attention to detail — and a slowdown release in the chorus, but the prevailing impression left behind is still the gallop, which makes it that much more of a jump when the relative lumber of “Easy Evil” begins, its nod maintained for the duration of its five-minute run, an airy break, solo and hard-funk fuzz highlight riffing leading the way out with an irresistible groove only to have “Wicked Willow” pick up with a more mid-paced feel that showcases the range in Reed‘s vocals as he follows the guitar line on one last unpretentious bounce to close out the first half of the tracklisting.
I’m not sure if that’s where the vinyl split is or not, but either way, “As Above so Below” works quickly in its first couple minutes to set a different, more progressive vibe, and much of what follows builds on that. Yes, it still rocks — Reed tears into a solo and soulful chorus as Garrett and Booth lock in another righteous nod — but a quiet break in the first half establishes a tone that Abyssinia takes as a central element in its back half. Of course, Mos Generator need to get through “Red Canyons” first. The most vigilant push on the record is well placed to continue the momentum from earlier into the final three tracks, which are richer in their arrangements and of course more patient — catchy “Red Canyons” is, patience it has little time for — but less about physical motion. A simple verse/chorus interchange becomes one of Abyssinia‘s standout hooks, and the effect is clear going into “There’s No Return from Nowhere,” which is the most weighted-feeling of the cuts here, though it introduces its central riff acoustically before its full stomp kicks in.
Crashing and shouting and a wash of noise cut out suddenly to harmonies and softly-strummed guitar, keys and classically progressive boogie — a return of the acoustic alongside the synth — arriving as a surprise but somehow still working. The heavier riffs continue to lurk, however, and they do come back to finish out as Reed delivers the title line, ending cold so that “Time and Other Thieves” can start its already-noted shuffle, its movement marked by double-time hi-hat, frenetic choppy guitars and Booth‘s bass holding it all together in classic power trio form. A turn begins with the subtle arrival of organ at the halfway point, but Reed takes a guitar solo before they shift back into the main riff and then on to a closing section of key-led space-prog, Garrett holding onto some of the track’s initial energy but clearly heading someplace else with it.
That’s a sudden change, even with the keys having appeared earlier on the album, but in addition to being somewhat satisfying to hear Mos Generator bust through the confines of even their own songwriting rules, it makes sense in light of the six-minute closer and longest track “Outlander,” which boasts Mellotron layers and a subdued groove initially before Reed begins his gloriously harmonized and intricately arranged vocals. Before they even get to the chorus, “Outlander” is sure enough foreign in its sound from everything else on Abyssinia — one might liken its intent more toward Reed‘s shortlived HeavyPink project — but its progression serves as the payoff for the album as a whole, moving in the chorus to a transfigured “I Want You/She’s so Heavy”-style riff that seems to answer everything the three-piece have done up to that point, be it heavy, melancholic or progressive.
They ride that to the song’s end, and rightly so, and cap Abyssinia on a striking and adventurous note, showing that while Reed has helmed the band for more than 15 years, there’s still growth underway in its scope and stylistic breadth. Mos Generator, as an outlet for his restless, relentless creative spirit, have never sounded more in command of their approach than they do on Abyssinia, and as they’ve embarked on a tour-as-much-as-possible ethic, that seems only to have brought more life into their already accomplished craft. Abyssinia stands among 2016’s finest heavy rock albums, easily.
In addition to having them as headliners at The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, I’m thrilled to announce that The Obelisk will present the first coast-to-coast North American outing from French heavy psych mavens Mars Red Sky. Put together by Tone Deaf in conjunction with the band, Earsplit PR and Listenable Records, the tour also includes stops at Doom over Toronto, a New England warmup show, and Psycho Las Vegas before rounding out with a drive up the West Coast, concluding in Seattle.
Mars Red Sky — the trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Mathieu Gazeau — recently released their third album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), the to-date peak of their progressive blend of heavy riffs, melodic resonance and expansive atmospheres. Given exceeding depth through memorable songwriting, it’s a bold step forward from their past work and an early contender for my favorite album of 2016. I could not be more thrilled to have this site included in the tour in the small way that it is if I tried. Thanks to the band and to everyone else for having The Obelisk involved.
Dates, event links, the band’s new video for “Friendly Fire” and more follow:
The Obelisk Presents: MARS RED SKY
8/19/2016 O’Brien’s Pub – Boston, MA [info]
8/20/2016 Saint Vitus Bar @ The Obelisk All-Dayer – Brooklyn, NY [info]
8/21/2016 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA [info]
8/22/2016 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA [info]
8/23/2016 Spirit – Pittsburgh, PA [info]
8/24/2016 Cherry St Station – Wallingford, CT [info]
8/25/2016 La Vitrola – Montreal, QC [info]
8/26/2016 The Smiling Buddha @ Doom Over Toronto Festival – Toronto, ON [info]
8/27/2016 Reggies – Chicago, IL [info]
8/28/2016 Hard Rock Hotel And Casino @ Psycho Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV [info]
8/29/2016 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
8/30/2016 The Viper Room – Los Angeles, CA [info]
9/01/2016 Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
9/02/2016 Panic Room – Portland, OR [info]
9/03/2016 The Funhouse – Seattle, WA [info]
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Mars Red Sky are giving away the mothership. First, however, they have to make the mothership, and it’s toward that effort that the Bordeaux-based three-piece — who, yes, are playing The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, thank you for asking — have launched a new crowdfunding campaign. The space capsule, along with other items being offered as donation rewards, will appear in a forthcoming video for the “Alien Grounds” two-song suite that opens their new album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), which, if 2016 was ending today, would be my bid for the best release of it. To make the video, as they explain in the fortunately-subtitled clip below, they’ll partner with director Seb Antoine, and they’re thinking of it more as a short film, since it will have dialogue and a plot and whathaveyou.
Probably best to let them explain it. Did I mention they’ll be at The Obelisk All-Dayer? Okay good.
Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) gets its official US release on May 20 via Listenable Records. Here’s what the band has to say:
We are working on a very special project:
A movie/video clip for the song Alien Grounds. To do so, we would like to lunch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Help us raising money to produce Mars Red Sky’s “Alien Grounds” video and win the spaceship that appears on the movie !
Mars Red Sky and Seb Antoine already collaborated on the making of a video for « The Light Beyond » in 2015 / Check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1PM2KT1j5o. This time, the idea is to produce a short movie based on the two first tracks of the Bordeaux-based trio’s new LP, Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul). Indeed those two tracks (Alien Grounds / Apex III) were originally composed and recorded as one and the same song. The main theme for this short movie revolves around space travel, this time featuring a cosmonaut behind the wheel of an old car and aboard a spaceship, wandering in a gloomy ill-famed dive bar, lost around a deserted gaz station…
To undertake such a project, a scapeship needs to be constructed, costumes designed and made up, comedians hired… Let’s just say a lot of preparation and organisation is required and resources are to be found to accomplish this task. This is why we have decided to launch a Kickstarter in order to raise funds to help us realize this project. The short movie will be released OCT 07th 2016 during the Bordeaux show at Le Rocher de Palmer. We’ve planned several rewards in return, spanning from a T-shirt with the movie artwork to the prototype of the space vessel itself, the cosmonaut suit and whatnot… We expect you to partake in the realization of this insane project !!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have signed a deal with Heavy Psych Sounds for European booking and will tour Europe this fall. The trio are preparing to release their new album, Abyssinia, this August in North America via Listenable Records, and recently took part in filming for an experimental concert video titled Songs for the Firmament at Joonior Studios in Seattle.
“This will be our first headlining tour of Europe and we are really excited to return to some places we know well and also hit some cities we’ve never been to,” comments founding Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed. “We will be adding a lot of songs from the new album Abyssinia to our set and we will also be revamping some old numbers that haven’t been played in years or have never been played live.”
Exact dates for the European tour are TBA, but it is set to run from Oct. 20 to Nov. 20, and so will start just days after the band’s recently announced appearance at Erosion Festival 2016 (info here). That slot follows a summer US tour set to kick off in mid-June alongside Year of the Cobra, for which you can find the dates below.
Mos GeneratorUS tour: 6/16 Portland OR – High Water Mark lounge 6/17 Missoula MT – The Palace* 6/18 Salt Lake City UT – (Crucialfest) 6/19 Denver CO – Hi-Dive 6/20 Lincoln NE – Bourbon Theater 6/21 Sioux Falls – Bigs Bar* 6/22 St Paul MN – Agharta records (7pm in-store) 6/22 St Paul MN – Big Vs (night show)* 6/23 Indianapolis IN – State st pub* 6/24 Chicago IL – Reggie’s 6/25 Columbus OH – Ace of Cups 6/26 Frederick MD (Maryland Doom Fest) Cafe 611 6/27 Raleigh NC – Slim’s* 6/28 Birmingham AL – The Nick* 6/29 Little Rock AR – Vino’s* 6/30 Tulsa OK – Holy Mountain Records(7pm in-store) 6/30 Tulsa OK – Downtown Lounge (evening show)* 7/01 Fort Worth TX – The Grotto* 7/02 Austin TX – The Lost Well* 7/04 Albuquerque NM – Launchpad* 7/05 Flagstaff AZ* – Greenroom* 7/06 Las Vegas NV – Dive bar* 7/07 Boise ID – Neurolux* 7/08 Seattle WA – The Substation* 7/09 Vancouver BC – SBC* 10/14 Missoula MT – Erosion Fest * w/ Year of the Cobra