Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III: Mos Generator, The Atomic Bitchwax, Isaak, Glowsun, Komatsu, Void of Sleep & Black Bone Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Based for the first time in Parma, Italy — the two prior editions had been held in Rome — Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III has announced a massive round of bands newly joined the proceedings, set for Oct. 28 and 29. The names have trickled out over the last couple weeks, but it seems a roundup is in order, considerable as the names are. In addition to The Atomic Bitchwax, who’ll be on the road with Pentagram at the time, and Fatso Jetson, whose slot was previously announced as part of their Heavy Psych Sounds-sponsored Italian tour, the likes of Mos GeneratorGlowsunIsaakKomatsuVoid of Sleep and Black Bone have joined on.

I’d expect that means Mos Generator are about to announce a European tour, but I don’t think they’ve done so yet. They’ll head abroad supporting their new album, the excellent Abyssinia (review here), while hopefully Fatso Jetson‘s upcoming LP will be out by then as well. More on that if/when I hear it.

I’ve noted more than a handful of times how crowded the European festival circuit is for this fall, but Heavy Psych Sounds continues to put Italy on the map for heavy rock, its reach extended both domestically and internationally more than ever before, as you can see:

heavy psych sounds fest vol iii new poster

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST VOL 3 with Atomic Bitchwax, Fatso Jetson, Mos Generator, Giobia, Glowsun, Isaak….

Here to announce the HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST VOL 3.

The Festival will take place in Parma, Italy at Mu Club, 90 minutes down Milan or 45 minutes up Bologna, both are the good spot to arrive with airplane. The shows will be divided between 2 stages.

***Friday 28 October ticket 15 euro
**Saturday 29 October ticket 15 euro

*2 days ticket 25 euro only available at http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fest/

Line Up:
THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX
FATSO JETSON
MOS GENERATOR
GLOWSUN
GIöBIA
ISAAK
FUZZ ORCHESTRA
DUEL
DEVILLE
KOMATSU
VOID OF SLEEP
BLACK BONE
……….More bands Tba…..

Artwork by Solo Macello.

WWW.HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS.COM

MU CLUB:
www.muparma.club

www.heavypsychsounds.com/fest
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://twitter.com/heavypsychsound
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Mos Generator, “Outlander” from Songs for the Firmament

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mos Generator, Abyssinia: A Return from Everywhere (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

mos generator abyssinia

[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.

mos generator

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.

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

HeavyHead webstore

Mos Generator at Listenable Records

Listenable Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Mos Generator Announce New EP The Firmament

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Port Orchard heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have not yet released their new full-length, Abyssinia (review tomorrow), but as ever, the Tony Reed-led outfit are looking forward already, this time toward a new EP release through Stickman Records called The Firmament. Set to be issued as a complement to a live video recorded earlier this year by Chris Mathews (now also of Ancient Warlocks) in an airplane hangar, it features tracks from the new album and others, a Joy Division cover and guest collaborators, giving it a really distinct feel among Mos Generator‘s output. That level of output has only grown more fervent over the last couple years as Reed has revamped the lineup, bringing in bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett, and hit the road with the same intensity that for a long time was reserved just for studio work.

Still plenty of that happening as well though, but The Firmament shows just how spot on Mos Generator are as a live band. Release announcement and video for “Outlander” follow here, courtesy of Stickman via the PR wire:

mos generator and company

Mos Generator The Firmament

Psychobabble 085 / LP (cd inluded)

Release date: September 9, 2016 VINYL + CD

Spring 2016, the northwestern coast of the United States. Strange alien lights are sighted amongst a number of uncanny solar phenomena. In response, the Joonior Space Administration develops a plan to make contact with the outsiders. And somewhere amid this interstellar singularity, a heavy rock band is blowing the roof off an airplane hanger in eastern Washington State. Welcome to The Firmament, the new album and film soundtrack by Port Orchard’s Mos Generator.

For those initiated in the world of modern heavy rock, Tony Reed and Mos Generator are most likely household names. Between writing and performing some of the most earnest rock n’ roll this side of the 1970’s and recording and producing dozens of albums, the man still finds the time to pick up unique projects that showcase the band’s diversity and creativity. So when filmmaker Chris Matthews approached Mos Generator to be part of an abstract live concert film titled “Songs for the Firmament”, it didn’t take long to realize this was the opportunity for something special.

Choosing an airplane hangar as their shooting and recording location, Reed and co. assembled a soundtrack fit for the movie’s interstellar affairs. What emerged was a collection of both new and old material (as well as a stellar Joy Divison cover), rewritten specially for the project. In the name of exploration of sound and space, guest musicians Bo Mcconaghie and Andy Sorter were recruited to pick up second guitar and Rhodes piano duties, adding another layer of lushness and complexity unique to the Mos Generator catalogue.

The Firmament is a milestone in Mos Generator’s history not only as their first film appearance or as a celebration of over 15 years of perseverance, but also as a presentation of the band’s first new recording lineup since 2000. Sean Booth (bass) and Jono Garrett (drums) are dynamic and powerful players that fit Reed’s soulful playing like a glove. In five songs, the album glides seamlessly though hard rock and progressive territory with genuine soul, both classic and eerily spacy at the same time. Stickman Records is proud to present this slab of cosmic dust on 18ogr vinyl with CD included for your listening pleasure.

Tracklisting:
1. Fall of Megiddo
2. Zero to Infinity
3. Wicked Willow
4. Dead Souls
5. Outlander

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
http://stickman-records.com
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/
http://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/47_mos-generator

Mos Generator, “Outlander” from The Firmament (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,

Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III Adds Fatso Jetson, Mos Generator, Glowsun and Isaak

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

With the addition of a second batch of four acts to follow-up the first announcement a couple weeks ago, Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III brings its total bill to eight bands over the course of two nights, Oct. 28 and 29, in Parma, Italy. The festival is of course put together by Heavy Psych Sounds, the Rome-based record label owned by Gabriele Fiori, also guitarist/vocalist for Black Rainbows and Killer Boogie, either of which would make an excellent candidate for a slot as well.

As well as the label, Heavy Psych Sounds‘ tour-booking wing (in accord with Sound of Liberation) is responsible for bringing Fatso Jetson to Europe this fall on an Italian run set to begin Oct. 23. The fest will be near the end of the tour (I’ll post the dates asap) and is one of a series of events taking place over consecutive weekends throughout Europe between September and October, a list that includes Up in SmokeDesertfest Athens, Desertfest Belgium, and keep it Keep it Low, the latter of which happens just the weekend before, in Switzerland.

Of course, Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III, like the imprint/booking company from whence it takes its name, has a regional focus as well. While two of the new acts joining on are American and another is French, Isaak are Italian natives, and they join countrymen in the previously announced Giobia and Fuzz Orchestra. That ain’t everybody by any means, but three out of eight (so far) can only be said to be giving the native scene its due.

Here’s the announcement:

heavy-psych-sounds-fest-iii

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is proud to announce the:

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST VOL. III
October 28 & 29
Italy, Parma, Circolo Arci MU

NEW bands announced:

******FATSO JETSON******
*****MOS GENERATOR*****
*********GLOWSUN********
***********ISAAK**********

bands already announced:

*****FUZZ ORCHESTRA*****
***********DUEL***********
**********GIOBIA***********
*********DEVILLE**********

MORE BANDS TBA

1 day ticket or 2 days pass available NOW at www.heavypsychsounds.com/fest

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
www.heavypsychsounds.com

Fatso Jetson, “New Age Android”/”I’ve Got the Shame” live

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Live Review: Maryland Doom Fest 2016 Night Three

Posted in Reviews on June 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

maryland doom fest poster

The car died as I pulled it into the spot outside Cafe 611, and it was abundantly clear it would not start again sans professional assistance. Oh, and it’s The Patient Mrs.‘ car. So there’s that.

That puts the tally of busted shit at: my feet (I’ve been wearing a supportive boot cast all weekend, not sure if I’ve mentioned that yet), my camera, and my wife’s car. Maryland Doom Fest 2016, you have thoroughly kicked my ass.

None of that is the fest’s fault, of course. After an awesome two and a half weeks, I was due a couple hits, and if anything, yesterday, the third and final day of the festival with another 11 bands on the bill starting at 3PM, it was the music that kept my head up while I was flipping out about things like waiting for tow trucks, The Patient Mrs. never picking up her phone, how the fuck I’m going to get back to Massachusetts with a dead car so I can start my new job on Tuesday, and so on. I’m thankful for that. Not sure I’d have made it through the afternoon otherwise without spontaneously combusting.

Time to wrap this thing up. If you’ve checked out the reviews of night one or night two, thanks, and thanks for reading this one too.

One more time, hello Frederick:

Mangog

Mangog (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ll admit it was somewhat strange to watch Bert Hall on stage holding a guitar. The longtime Maryland doomer has played bass through the years in Revelation and Against Nature and now is also handling thick strings and fuzzy-hat for Beelzefuzz, but in Mangog it’s guitar and backing vocals to complement those of Myke Wells. Completed by drummer Mike Rix (ex-Iron Man) and bassist Darby Cox, the four-piece announced this week that they’d signed to Argonauta Records for the early 2017 release of their debut album. Presumably most of what they played, whether it was “God” or “Into Infamy” or “Meld,” comes from that record, but they also played two of the three cuts — “Ab Intra” and the title-track — from their 2015 debut EP, Daydreams Within Nightmares. The band played their first show at Maryland Doom Fest last year, and are still finding themselves as a unit, but seemed to be on the right track with their aggressive blend of doom and metal. Wells was also the first frontman to stand on the P.A. speakers in front of the stage, so points there as well.

Flummox

Flummox (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The first, but not the last. Bassist/vocalist Blake Dellinger of Flummox, in checked leotard regalia and with one eye blacked out, also got on that speaker, in addition to thrashing around just about everywhere else on the Cafe 611 stage as he, guitarist Drew Jones, and drummer/vocalist Jody Lester tore into their raucous stoner thrash, which it’s easy to imagine has been a highlight of the last couple years at house shows in their native Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as well as other haunts around the South lucky enough to book the band. Youth was on their side, sure, but they still delivered one of the weekend’s most energetic sets, and had the chemistry between them to stand up to the force of their delivery. They’re also reportedly responsible for the Tennessean Sludge Fest, which this August features Place of SkullsDoomstressShroud Eater and Order of the Owl, among many others, so clearly doing good work on multiple levels.

DopeRider

Doperider (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Hailing from my beloved Garden State, sludge torquemongers DopeRider proffered massive tones offset by a couple stretches of ambience, putting them in league with the likes of Connecticut’s Sea of Bones or any number of crushers in the post-YOB sphere, and that is a compliment as far as I’m concerned. Their slow-churning, growling, thudding lumber wasn’t the first bout of extremity the weekend had seen — one still recalls Philly’s Black Urn starting off Friday — but it did speak to the expanding definition of what Maryland Doom Fest might continue to encompass. Uniformly brutal in their approach, DopeRider — who released a debut demo last year with the tracks “Drugged up Demonoid” (15:09) and “Fractal Resin” (6:07) — were thankful to the crowd, guitarist/vocalist MP saying that there wasn’t much like this in Jersey. I know from personal experience that’s 100 percent true, but little doubt DopeRider would’ve stood out on the bill whatever the context. Will keep an eye out for what they do next.

Seasick Gladiator

Seasick Gladiator (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ll admit that for a decent portion of D.C. residents Seasick Gladiator‘s set, I was outside dealing with the tow truck driver from AAA. Actually he was the second, past the one who tried to jump the car to no avail, so yeah, it took a minute. What I saw of the instrumental outfit offered metallic doom marked out through the use of violin, adding a sense of drama to the material as strings invariably will. They had some progressive edge that didn’t necessarily feel showy or overly self-righteous, and from what I heard sounded pretty fluid. Meanwhile, outside, the car still refused to start — battery? alternator? — and had to be dragged onto the back of the flatbed and hauled off to some local garage. A genuine what the fuck moment, but like I said, the music kept me going. Somehow I doubt it will be the last opportunity to catch Seasick Gladiator, and from the glimpses I got and from watching the end of their set after the truck drove away, their appeal came through even despite distraction.

Eternal Black

Eternal Black (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ll never pretend to even feign impartiality about any band Joe Wood is playing in. Aside from being a former bandmate, the Borgo Pass and Eternal Black drummer is among the nicest, most sincere individuals I’ve ever met — King of the Dudes — and whether he’s behind the kit or in the crowd, any day I get to see Joe is a good day, including this one. He is not, however, all that Eternal Black have working in their favor. Atop rolling The Obsessed-style riffs, the NY three-piece with Wood, guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob and bassist Hal Miller, fit right in with the sphere of Maryland doom but had more than a touch of Northeastern intensity to their approach as well, particularly from Wohlrob‘s vocals. The same was true of their first demo (review here), which was released last year, but they had a host of new songs in the set — “Snake Oil and Coffin Nails” was a highlight, along with “Sea of Graves” — and announced plans to record this summer/fall for a debut full-length, which will be one to anticipate. Granted NYC is four to five hours from where I live depending on traffic, but I still felt I probably should’ve seen Eternal Black by now. Glad I got to in such a setting.

Toke

Toke (Photo by JJ Koczan)

North Carolina’s Toke were the only band of the weekend to bring their own lights, and their focus on presentation likewise extended to how they carried themselves on stage, each of the three members putting his full body into the groove of their hard-hit, swinging riffs, seeming way more influenced by Sleep live than on their 2014 demo, High Friends in Low Places (review here), but still marked out on the harsher end of sludge by the vocals, which were on the more searing end of screams. Comprised of TimBronco and Jeremy, they reminded some of Elder‘s Matt Couto in the drumming style, but were on an entirely different trip sonically, and for a band who doesn’t yet have an album out, they had steady command over the stage, the room, and their consuming tonal largesse. Very obviously a band who’s done some road time — they played Denver Electric Funeral Fest earlier this month — and one who’ve dug in hard to their practice space. They were high among the most pleasant surprises at Maryland Doom Fest 2016, all three days.

Foghound

Foghound (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Foghound were not a surprise, true, but they were a joy to watch all the same. The Baltimore heavy rock kingpins are on the cusp of releasing their second album, The World Unseen (review forthcoming), on Ripple Music, and they absolutely blew me away last fall at Vultures of Volume II (review here), also in Maryland, but to hear those songs now and know them better, whether it’s the ultra-catchy “Rockin’ and Rollin'” or “Message in the Sky,” “Never Return,” “Above the Wake,” “Serpentine,” etc., was an entirely different experience, drummer Chuck Dukehart III and guitarists Bob Sipes and Dee Settar sharing vocal duties while bassist Jim Forrester held down the low end. Playing a set entirely comprised of new material only emphasized how far beyond 2013’s Quick, Dirty and High (review here) they’re ready to be, and like last time I was fortunate enough to catch them, they were air-tight musically, varied in the vocal arrangements and executed their set on a foundation of strong, waiting to be noticed songwriting. I know it kicks ass, but I’m eager to find out how The World Unseen catches on with listeners once it’s out, as I’m sure the band is as well.

Wasted Theory

Wasted Theory (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Like Foghound before them (and several others), Delaware’s Wasted Theory brought a sampling of their next outing, which is set to be recorded this fall, reportedly, for a 2017 release. I was talking the other night to guitarist/vocalist Larry Jackson, Jr., about the next Wasted Theory and he asked what I’d want to hear on it. Basically what I’d be looking for is a step forward from 2014’s Death and Taxes (review here). I’d want to hear that the band — Jackson, guitarist Dave McMahon, bassist Rob Michael and drummer Brendan Burns — was pushing itself in terms of melody and songcraft. Hard to judge from one live airing, but they seemed to be headed in that direction, bringing a more aggressive edge to some of the Southern groove that on the last album was such a huge part of their take. They still had a definite update-the-’70s classic heavy rock vibe, and Jackson‘s gravely vocals added burl as ever, but that progression that one might hope to hear in their sound came through at Cafe 611. They still have to record the next LP, but hopefully it follows suit when it arrives.

King Giant

King Giant (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ve seen dark Virginian rockers King Giant a handful of times now — three or four, maybe, most recently at the aforementioned Vultures of Volume II (review here) — and their sheer have-their-shit-together factor remains hugely impressive. Dudes know exactly what they want their songs to do, where they want to put that Todd Ingram solo, what the verse is moving toward, etc. Vocalist Dave Hammerly had two mics setup with various kinds of compression, and the double-guitar five-piece proceeded to do their thing, which is to offer up grooving slabs of moody Southern heavy, bordering on metal in their attitude but really more about atmosphere than aggression, or at least about toying with that balance. “Requiem for a Drunkard” from 2015’s Black Ocean Waves (review here) was a high point sonically if a particularly downer vibe, but really, King Giant are in league with the safer bets you might make when it comes to quality of craft and performance in their style. It’s not always what I’m looking for stylistically, but for as much as King Giant put into their band, it’s impossible not to respect them.

Karma to Burn

Karma to Burn (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Kind of hard to believe it’s been nearly five years since the last time I saw Karma to Burn. Night and day. With the lineup of founding guitarist Will Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine the West Virginian instrumental powerhouse were in nothing but top form for their set. One might expect them to be on after having just done a month on the road with The Obsessed across the US, but propelled by Devine‘s crash, they rode Mecum‘s riffing with an energy I’ve never seen from them. The most recent cut they played was “57” from 2014’s Arch Stanton (review here) — though I thought I heard part of “62” as well — and of course their signature piece, “20” from 1999’s Wild Wonderful Purgatory was aired to a particularly fervent response. They were the only band of the weekend so far as I saw who elicited anything close to moshing, and it was well-earned. Just a killer show, front to back, and while I know Karma to Burn has a history of burning through rhythm sections, what Clutter and Devine bring to the band alongside Mecum isn’t to be understated. True power trio form, continually without compromise or bullshit.

Mos Generator

Mos Generator (Photo by JJ Koczan)

“We’ve been here since eight o’clock,” said Mos Generator frontman Tony Reed, “and I’m drunk.” To be fair, it was long past eight by the time the Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers took the stage for their headlining/fest-closing set. My fingers were crossed they’d have copies of their new album, Abyssinia (review forthcoming), but no dice. Bought a shirt instead. Their set launched at a furious clip and did not relent, drummer Jon Garrett stepping up to righteously follow what Evan Devine brought to Karma to Burn as bassist Sean Booth served to anchor the material and bolster the impact of Reed‘s guitar. “Lonely One Kenobi” was an early highlight, followed by “There’s No Return from Nowhere” from the new record and “Breaker” and the title-track from 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here), Reed, of whom I’ll make no bones about being a fan, letting his vocals soar for the latter while completely owning the stage and bringing the room along with him. Hard not to smile watching him on stage — someone so obviously born to do what he’s doing who then set about working really, really hard at it for decades — and he kept the intensity of performance going until the house lights came up as they played “This is the Gift of Nature.” The room had thinned out somewhat by then, as it will, but after a full hour of go-go-go, there was zero slowdown whatsoever. Some bands just want to rock and roll, and Mos Generator do so with a pure reverence for the form that few would dare attempt to match. They were absolutely on fire.

As I write this, I’m on the road in a rental car, headed back north. I start my new job tomorrow. The Patient Mrs., who was visiting family elsewhere in the state, came and picked me up in a rental car and is currently driving me and Postman Dan, who came along for the trip, north. As there’s been no word from the mechanic that the car got towed to, I’ll have to drive back to Frederick on Friday to pick it up. Serves me right for something, I’m sure. Unanswered emails, perhaps.

Before I cut out, I want to thank JB Matson and Mark Cruikshank for having me on board as a sponsor and for having me down to cover Maryland Doom Fest 2016. I know these reviews have been somewhat fraught in their context, but Matson and Cruikshank put on a hell of a show over these three days, and should be commended both for the efforts and the results yielded. I can only hope they keep it going and hope they’ll have me involved again next year.

If they do, I think next time I might just fly in. But I always say that.

Thanks for reading.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mos Generator to Tour Europe this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

mos generator

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.

mos generator euro tour“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 Generator US 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

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator/
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.shop-listenable.net

Mos Generator, Songs for the Firmament trailer

Tags: , , , ,

Erosion Festival 2016: Acid King, Saint Vitus, The Skull and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Working out of a home-base in Missoula, Montana, Erosion Festival 2016 has announced a formidable lineup bringing together bands from the West Coast and the Midwest and beyond, including headliners Saint Vitus, Acid King and The Skull, for a two-night stint at Stage 112. Familiar names from the Pacific Northwest include Mos Generator, Witch Mountain, Mammoth Salmon, Teepee Creeper, Mother Crone and Disenchanter, and they’re joined by Thorr Axe, Chron Goblin, Stone Elk, Wizzerd, American Falcon, and others for a heavy weekend surrounded by mountains and Montana’s open sprawl. I wonder if it snows in Missoula in October.

There’s more info to come from the fest in terms of who’s playing when, how much tickets are, how to buy them, when to buy them, and so on, but the lineup is the news here and the lineup is more than solid. If you’re wondering, Missoula does have an international airport. Not that I’ve looked or anything, but flights seem to be pretty cheap.

From the festival:

erosion-festival-2016

We are very excited to finally announce our entire 2016 Erosion Festival line-up! It’s an honor to have these awesome bands on board for 2016, please welcome SAINT VITUS, THE SKULL, ACID KING, and WITCH MOUNTAIN!

Erosion will be held in Missoula, MT on Friday October 14th and Saturday October 15th @ Stage 112. 18 bands total for 2 nights of heavy music and great times we hope to see you there!

We will have ticket information soon, our facebook event page, and the official Erosion Fest 2016 poster, with all the information you’ll need.

Thank You all for supporting us and we’ll see you in October!

Erosion Festival lineup:
Saint Vitus
The Skull
Acid King
Witch Mountain
Mos Generator
Thorr Axe
Mammoth Salmon
Mother Crone
Disenchanter
Chron Goblin
Teepee Creeper
Swamp Ritual
Stone Elk
American Falcon
Shramana
Wizzerd
The Old Ones
Piranha Dog

https://www.facebook.com/erosionfestival/
http://www.stage112.com/

Acid King, “Teen Dusthead”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mos Generator and Year of the Cobra Announce Tour Dates and Split 7″

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Washington heavy rock trio Mos Generator and duo Year of the Cobra recently got together to record songs on a 4-track tape for an upcoming split single, with Mos Generator‘s Tony “The Restless” Reed at the helm. The news today is that this split, which will be out on Ripple Music and H42 Records, will coincide with a US tour beginning in June that also leads Mos Generator closer to the release of their new album, Abyssinia, on Listenable Records in July. I’d expect this to be just the first round of what will probably be a several-legged run to support Abyssinia. Ever since Mos Generator took to the road following 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) with a revamped lineup, they have basically never looked back.

Year of the Cobra‘s debut long-player is set to arrive later this year as well. Not sure if it’ll be out by the time of this tour — STB was handling the release, last I heard — but they’re sure to be heralding its coming one way or another. Their 2015 EP, The Black Sun (review here), can be streamed below.

Tour dates and the recently-unveiled art for Abyssinia follow, as seen on the social medias:

mos generator year of the cobra tour

“Been waiting to announce this for a while… Year of the Cobra and Mos Generator have a split 7″ record coming out on Ripple Music and H42 Records. Both bands will tour the U.S. together this summer to support it. Check the poster for dates! Also, both bands will be playing separately on the dates not listed – check our websites for more info on that. Looking forward seeing and meeting some new friends this summer.”

mos generator abyssiniaMos Generator have unveiled the cover artwork of their new full-length album, ‘Abyssinia’, scheduled for a July release.

Tony Reed comments”These new songs show major change and growth for the band, I wanted the cover to represent that as well. I knew it was going to be collage art style and in searching for an image that moved me I came across this untitled piece. Abyssinia is slang for “I’ll be seeing you”. Sometimes my brain feels like the image on the cover.”

Here are the complete dates for the Mos Generator U.S. tour. More Regional (northwest) dates and European dates for MG coming soon.

6/16 Portland OR –
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)
Big Vs (night show)*
6/23 Indianapolis IN – State st pub*
6/24 Chicago IL – Reggie’s
6/25 Columbis OH – Ace of Cups
6/26 Frederick MD (Maryland Doom Fest) Cafe 611
6/27 Raleigh NC – Slim’s*
6/28
6/29 Little Rock AR – Vito’s*
6/30 Tulsa OK – Holy Mountain Records(7pm in-store)
Downtown Lounge (evening show)*
7/01 Fort Worth TX – The Grotto*
7/02 Austin TX – The Lost Well*
7/03 OFF
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*
* w/ Year of the Cobra

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator/
https://www.facebook.com/yearofthecobraband/
www.ripple-music.com
https://h42records.bandcamp.com

Mos Generator, “The Prow” (Voivod cover)

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun EP (2015)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,