Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Who’s gonna argue with some Mos Generator album news? Not me. And maybe a new track to boot? Yeah, I won’t fight that one either. My list of 2014 gotta-haves is getting longer every day, and Mos Generator are definitely on it. Their 2012 return outing, Nomads (review here), was a joy to behold, and if the boogie of the curiously-unembeddable title-track is anything to go by, Electric Mountain Majesty– also the Washington-based trio’s Listenable Records debut — seems to just be waiting to follow suit.
The PR wire takes it from here:
MOS GENERATOR Release New Song; Reveal New Album Details
Northwestern U.S. stoner rock gurus MOS GENERATOR, who recently inked a deal with Listenable Records, has announced that their forthcoming album will be entitled Electric Mountain Majesty. The band’s first release since joining the Listenable Records roster, Electric Mountain Majesty is scheduled for a Spring 2014 release. Plans are currently being laid for a European tour in May.
To give fans a taste of what Electric Mountain Majesty has to offer, MOS GENERATOR and Listenable Records are now streaming the album’s title track. Listen atthis location.
MOS GENERATOR guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed comments on the new song,Tony Reeds comments the track :”ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN MAJESTY was riffed out and recorded in about 15 minutes. Shawn and I did a demo of it and when i sat down and started to work on it the next day i realized that the drum track on this demo was killer! It had all of the fire and expression that Shawn would have live. I tracked the guitars and performed the vocals over the course of the next day and here it is. Our love for heavy rock, metal, and melody all come together in this tune.”
Track listing for Electric Mountain Majesty is as follows: Beyond the Whip Nothing Left but Night Enter the Fire Spectres Neon Nightmare Breaker Early Mourning Electric Mountain Majesty Black Magic Mirror (Interloping: Heavy Ritual) Heavy Ritual
Electric Mountain Majesty was recorded at HeavyHead Recording Co. in Port Orchard, Wash. and was produced, mixed and mastered by T. Dallas Reed.
MOS GENERATOR music and merchandise, along with materials from other Tony Reed-related acts can be found in Reed’s own HeavyHeadSuperStore. Check out the great selection of t-shirts, CDs, rare & limited-edition vinyl and more athttp://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com.
I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with Mos Generator‘s new Live in Europe 2013cassette until I flipped the case over and saw three crucial words written all in caps: “STEREO AUDIENCE RECORDING.”
In a way, that tells a large part of the story with the Lame is Me Records release, which is the second recorded document to emerge from the Washington trio’s European run earlier this year with Saint Vitus behind the Lay Bare Recordings vinyl, In Concert(review here). It is an audience recording. Where In Concerthad professional production, a crisp, clear sound and a vibrant mix, Live in Europe 2013is much rawer in sound and execution. It’s a solid pickup for fans of the band and no doubt makes a decent option on the merch table, but its intent is clearly different from the other live outing. More or less, it’s a bootleg.
And once I realized that, my entire context for it changed. The tape compiles two sets — one recorded in Aschaffenburg, Germany, and one recorded in Vienna, Austria — and puts one on each side, a slightly varied setlist setting them apart as changing out a jamming “Step Up” for “Beyond the Whip” marks out one night from its companion. Immediately I was reminded of being in the musty shop where I used to buy my bootlegs, scanning the spines of cassette cases for dates and places to see which copied shows from which tours I could get on the cheap. Audience recordings, straight from master to the tape or stripped through further generations of recording-to-recording transfer of what little fidelity they had, are always a tricky prospect, because so much depends on the equipment. Mos Generator‘s material comes in pretty clearly, considering, but if you go into Live in Europe 2013thinking it’s going to be hitting the same kind of standard as In Concert, let me be the first to tell you that’s not what’s going on here and it doesn’t seem like it was meant to be.
One of the big arguments I hear against the “tape revival” is that it’s needless. Why bother with a tape for anything other than ’90s sentimentality (including, as you can see in the paragraph above, my own)? Well, a release like this, with its transparent green cassette, limited run and for-fans-only vibe, makes a perfect tape. You wouldn’t press either of these shows to a CD, and the expense of doing a vinyl run for an audience recording — let alone a 2LP to get both shows in — is ridiculous. But with a tape, anyone interested in getting more of a taste of Mos Generator‘s 2013 European tour can do so with a sonic feel that, in its own way, is as classic as the rock itself. I’ve got some audience-recorded Sabbath bootlegs and other stuff. It’s a very specific sound, and again, once I saw those three words, Live in Europe 2013made a whole lot more sense.
If, like me, you’re a fan of what Mos Generator do — especially if, like me, you’re a fan who’s never seen them live — then Live in Europe 2013legitimately has something to offer that even In Concert can’t by its very nature. If you want to call my digging on a raw-sounding tape pointless nostalgia, well fine, but you could just as easily apply the same critique to people delving into heavy ’70s riffing in the first place, and that’s not an argument I hear very often. Dig it or don’t, if it’s one more way to get a feel for what these guys can do on a stage, then the only complaint I’m about to make is that neither show has “Cosmic Ark” on it. Beyond that, my issues are nil.
Mos Generator, “This is the Gift of Nature” Live in Vienna, Austria, March 22, 2013
Posted in Reviews on October 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
In 2012, Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed engineered the Saint Vitus reunion album, Lillie: F-65. The two bands had also done shows in Mos Generator‘s native Pacific Northwest together, and when it was time for Vitus to head to Europe in support of the album, Reed, bassist Scooter Haslip and drummer Shawn Johnson went along for the full month’s run as the supporting act, and it’s from that tour that the new In Concertlive album — the first release on Lay Bare Recordings — comes. Issued 180 gram vinyl-only in an edition of 300 with some black and some in a pink and white swirl, In Concertwas recorded at Rockfabrik in Nürnberg, Germany, on March 25, 2013, by Dirk de Zibel for Eraser Pictures, and with a mix and master job from Reed himself, it makes a rousing answer to Mos Generator‘s 2012 comeback long-player, Nomads (review here), which emerged via Ripple Music and was among the year’s best heavy rock releases. Highlights from Nomadsincluding the ultra-hook one-two of “Cosmic Ark” and “Lonely One Kenobi” show up on In Concert, as well as the closer “This is the Gift of Nature,” which fits well at the end of side B of the vinyl as well. The fluid mix between the new material and opener “Lumbo Rock,” as well as “Silver Olympus,” “On the Eve” and “Godhand Iommi” — all of which come culled from a variety of the band’s releases in their first run, whether it’s their self-titled debut in the case of the former or 2006′s Late Great Planet Earthfor “Silver Olympus” or any number of self-released demos, session singles, etc., that the band did before going on hiatus in 2009 as Reed embarked on ’70s revivalist rockers Stone Axe and several other projects, including HeavyPink, whose 7″ was released on The Maple Forum — only underscores how little of a step Mos Generator missed upon their return.
The Rockfabrik show was the third date before the end of the tour, so it was the perfect night to capture the band at their best. Sure, the end was in sight, but at that point, you wouldn’t run into any end-of-tour antics, they wouldn’t be thinking yet about getting home and back to real life in a way that might distract from the set, and in terms of their performance, they’d be a machine. So it is on In Concert. For having sand every night for 20 days, Reed‘s voice sounds fresh and crisp as “Lumbo Rock” moves into “Cosmic Ark,” and even by the end of the set, he’s still able to reach for the notes in “This is the Gift of Nature” without straining. The recording itself is crisp and full — one does not come out of the vinyl wondering where Haslip‘s bass was — and though it’s a professional delivery of a well-honed set, Mos Generator still seem to be enjoying themselves, whether it’s Reed asking for a drink on stage and letting the crowd know they’re, “running out of fun” or asking Rockfabrik to turn the house lights on at the end of the set to get a picture of the crowd (the latter seems to have been a nightly routine, if the band’s Facebook posts are any kind of tell). A relatively darker start to side B with the apocalyptically-themed “On the Eve” is complemented with a subsequent turn to the ultra-Sabbathian blues jam “Godhand Iommi” — Haslip and Johnson are duly righteous for both — which takes parts of “Wicked World” and gleefully dashes off with them in a swirl of rhythmic tightness, and though when they’re finished with “This is the Gift of Nature,” the LP feels short, it was an opening set after all, and there’s not much left to ask that’s not delivered.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Rarely at rest, Washington-based heavy rock trio Mos Generator announce today that they’ve signed to Listenable Records for the release of their next album. The reinvigorated three-piece toured Europe earlier this year alongside Saint Vitus, and the run resulted in two live offerings — the vinyl In Concert (review coming this week) and the cassette Live in Europe 2013 (review coming next week) — both arriving in the wake of the welcome reception of their return full-length, 2012′s Nomads (review here), issued through Ripple Music. It looks as though plans are already in the works for a return trip in 2014 in support of the next Mos record.
Kudos to the band and the label. Whatever results in more Mos Generator is good news as far as I’m concerned. This came down the PR wire:
MOS GENERATOR Signs With Listenable Records
Listenable Records has inked a deal with Northwest U.S. stoner rock gurus MOS GENERATOR. The band is currently working on a new record, which is scheduled for a spring 2014 release on Listenable Records. MOS GENERATOR will tour Europe in support of the album in May.
The new material is said to be stretching the core sound of the band into some new and interesting directions. Guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed comments, “We always try and push the heavy rock sound into other areas. Sometimes it’s forced and sometimes we are letting natural and honest influences enter the equation. On the new material we are letting ourselves be open to whatever comes along.”
MOS GENERATOR formed during the winter of 2000 in Port Orchard, Washington from the ashes of a ten year off & on collaboration between it’s three members, all of which are long time veterans of road & studio. The need to strip down to the basics of hard rock was apparent from the start and continues to be the foundation for all the bands recent material. MOS GENERATOR have released 5 studio albums, a retrospective album, and a live album on such labels as Roadburn, Small Stone, Ripple, Nasoni, and Lay Bare. Touring has been just as important to the profile of the band as making records has. Over the years MOS GENERATOR has shared the stage with many great heavy rock bands and in March of 2013 they did a 26-date European tour with Saint Vitus, opening up a whole new fan base to the MOS GENERATOR sound. On stage the band defines the word “chemistry”. Revolving their sound around swagger and groove while improvising just enough to keep the songs feeling fresh from night to night…sometimes with interesting results.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Recorded earlier this year in Nuremberg, the new live vinyl In Concert captures revived Washington heavy rockers Mos Generator on their tour earlier this year with Saint Vitus. It’s also the first release on the newly-formed Lay Bare Recordings, which is a label project spearheaded by Désirée Hanssen of Roadburn/Burning World Records. Ms. Hanssen posted the following update this morning, and as you can see, her new label is off to a gorgeous start.
Mos Generator are also in the process of recording a new studio album, so stay tuned for more on that:
I am extremely delighted to announce that i made it to start my own record label. Let me introduce you to:
Lay Bare Recordings from low ‘n slow to hard ‘n heavy!
Lay Bare Recordings is focussed on VINYL and supports bands that i think have an added value in the underground and unconventional music scene. I am very devoted to bring those sounds to a wider audience.
The music styles that Lay Bare Recordings will be promoting, are from artists who put their heart and soul in their music. Songs and music made with passion, vigor and quality.
Do you know a band, or are you part of a band that will feel at home in what Lay Bare Recordings represents?
Send me a link & message. I am always looking for new bands & songs that speak to me.
So spread the news or give me your thoughts.
LBR 001: Mos Generator in concert (live at Rockfabrik Nürnberg, 25-03-2013)
Tony Reed comments: “This was show 21 in a row of a 26 city tour. We were in the best shape we have ever been in as a live band and i think it shows on this recording.”
Its a Limited Edition run of 300 handnumbered units pressed on 180g virgin vinyl, single LP with some fine artwork from Mr-Frumpy Frumpedia. And the beautiful label art from Igor van Vijfeyken. The releases will be distributed by Burning World Records.
Posted in Features on June 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
They always say you there’s no going back. I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. As I searched back through posts to find the Top 20 of 2012, I realized it had been way too long since I heard some of these records. It’s so easy to get caught up with what’s current and what’s coming next that sometimes I forget to actually listen to albums I already enjoyed. That happened a couple times along the way.
When a year ends and the lists start coming out, it’s like records as numbered, stocked and then forgotten. I guess I’m guilty of it too. With that in mind, here’s a quick revisit to what I had as my favorites of 2012:
The Top 20 of 2012 Revisited
20. Mos Generator, Nomads
I can’t even look at this album cover without hearing the chorus to “Lonely One Kenobi” play in my head. Still a sentimental favorite.
19. Golden Void, Golden Void
Haven’t put it on in a while, but probably should.
18. Wight, Through the Woods into Deep Water
Ditto. This record was great and if I made the list today, it would probably be higher than it is here.
16. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
I’ve seen them three times so far this year and they’ve delivered each time, but haven’t put on the album itself in a while. Still looking forward to new stuff though.
15. Kadavar, Kadavar
I think I’ve had more fascinating conversations about Kadavar than any other band in the last year. So many opinions, so widely varied. I dig the self-titled, will probably have the follow-up on my list at the end of 2013. Nuclear Blast needs to bring them over to tour, maybe opening for Witchcraft?
14. Stubb, Stubb
Yay fuzz! Catchy songs, easy formula, well structured and impeccably performed.My favorite straight-up heavy rock record of 2012.
13. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned
Hard to fuck with these dudes. The production here was a presence, but the songs still hold up.
12. Ararat, II
No shit, I live in terror of having Ararat release their third album and missing it. Like all of a sudden the album will have been out for three months and I’d have no idea.
11. Ufomammut, Oro
Haven’t listened to Opus Primumor Opus Altersince. Can’t help but think if Oro was released as one record, I’d put it on from time to time.
10. Conan, Monnos
I put this in the top 10 for a reason. Because it’s fucking ridiculously heavy. I stand by my reasoning. Looking forward to their new one.
9. My Sleeping Karma, Soma
An album I couldn’t manage to put down even when I wanted to, and one I still pick up from time to time. Glad I finally gave in an bought a copy to get away from the shitty digital promo version.
8.Graveyard, Lights Out
Maybe I burnt myself out on this? I went on a binge after their show in January for a bit and then put Lights Outaway and that was that.
7. Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65
Every time I’m in a record store, flip through the Vitus selectionand see my quote on the sticker on the front of the jewel case of Lillie: F-65, I feel like an entire decade of shitty career decisions is justified. No bullshit.
6. Ancestors, In Dreams and Time
Brilliant. Mostly brilliant for closer “First Light,” but that song was brilliant enough to get this spot on the list anyway.
5. High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis
Hard to argue with its intensity. Not much staying power as I would’ve thought, but god damn that’s a heavy record.
4. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay
An overwhelming listen. I have to prepare my head for putting it on, but I continue to find it worth the effort.
3. Greenleaf, Nest of Vipers
It was the highlight of my year last year to see this material live. Greenleaf have a new lineup now and another album in the works, but if Nest of Vipersis how the last one was going out, they killed it.
2. Om, Advaitic Songs
Sometimes I fantasize about living in a temple where I wake up and Advaitic Songsis playing every day. That is 100 percent true.
1. Colour Haze, She Said
I’d probably listen to it even more if it was on one CD, but god damn, this record is amazing. Another one that’s kind of overwhelming, but it gets regular play as I expect it will continue to do into perpetuity.
All in all, pretty great year. Some stuff that’s fallen by the wayside, but a few landmarks as well that have carried over, and more importantly, some that seem like they’ll continue to carry over and grow in appeal as more time passes. Wight should’ve been higher on the list, but other than that, I’ll take it.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Talk to Tony Reed for about 30 seconds and you’re going to know he’s a pretty self sufficient guy, so it’s not much of a surprise he’d start selling his own wares sooner or later. The guitarist/vocalist of Mos Generator, Stone Axe and HeavyPink has opened a webshop for HeavyHead, his own imprint, where he’s selling items from his bands (I still have some HeavyPink 7″s left as well), including what looks like an exclusive in the form of a Mos Generator bootleg CDR recorded in 2006.
Mos Generator also have a new live album coming recorded on their most recent European tour. Details follow courtesy of the PR wire:
Tony Reed (Mos Generator / Stone Axe / HeavyPink) Opens HeavyHead SuperStore
Renowned heavy rock musician and engineer Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe, HeavyPink) has launched HeavyHead SuperStore, the official merch site for Mos Generator, Stone Axe, HeavyPink and other Reed-related bands.
The store offers CD, vinyl, t-shirts and other assorted items from Reed’s many projects, many of which can only be found at HeavyHead. Items exclusive to HeavyHead SuperStore include rare live recordings from the vaults of Mos Generator and more. To check out the selection, visitheavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com.
In other news, Mos Generator will be releasing a live album recorded in Germany on the band’s last European tour. The album is expected to see the light of day later this summer through Holland’s Lay Bare Recordings. More details to come.
Next time I’m sitting around being bored, feeling like there’s nothing to do but park my ass somewhere and wait for a baseball game to start, someone please remind me there are people out there like Tony Reed who manage to use downtime for the purposes of kicking ass instead of being a whiny jerk. Kudos to the Mos Generator/Stone Axe multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer for giving us all a lesson in DIY ethics with his take on the Pentagram classic “Forever My Queen,” which he recorded — as he intimates in the video info — more or less just for the hell of it:
I had a couple of hours to kill one day so i recorded this Pentagram song. I filmed as i did the takes so these are the actual takes from the song.
Blamo. I will not tell you some of the BS lines I’ve drawn on to-do lists just to be able to cross them out and tell myself I had a productive day, but suffice it to say, none of them have ever resulted in a cover as solid and professional sounding as this one, let alone a pro-quality edited video of me recording said cover, cut together perfectly with the finished audio. Were I wearing a hat, rest assured, it would be duly doffed.
Enjoy Tony Reed‘s “Forever My Queen,” and then go check out his bands and buy his albums, because they rule and because he obviously deserves the money more than the rest of us. Well done, Mr. Reed.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
As if you needed an excuse to with you could be in Europe this spring, Saint Vitus are headed over for a three-week round of dates with Mos Generator. The connections between the two bands are manifold, with Mos Generator leader Tony Reed having produced Vitus‘ 2012 full-length, Lillie: F-65 (review here), and worked with drummer Henry Vasquez in his other band, Blood of the Sun on their own 2012 outing, Burning on the Wings of Desire (review here), so if nothing else, you can bet the vibes will be cordial.
All the better for Mos, whoseNomads(review here) is still fresh on the consciousness. Hard to imagine even the doomiest of Vitus devotee couldn’t be won over by their ultra-catchy heavy rocking. Here’s the poster for the Vitus tour, followed by a couple other dates Mos Generator will be playing between now and then. Dig it:
UPCOMING SHOWS MOS SHOWS 2013
1/12 coo coos nest – port angeles 1/18 rendezvous – port orchard 1/19 ash st. – portland 1/ 25 filling station – kingston 1/26 acme – tacoma 2/1 flights pub – everett 2/9 the breakroom – bremerton 2/23 club 21 – portland 3/1 chop suey – seattle
March 2013 – SAINT VITUS & MOS GENERATOR 5th Cologne, Germany @ Underground 6th Berlin, Germany @ C-club 7th Dresden, Germany @ Beatpol 8th Arnhem, Holland @ Willemeen 9th Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie 10th Vosselaar, Belgium @ Biebob 11th Brighton, England @ The Haunt 12th Southampton, England @ The Cellar 13th Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy 2 14th Glasgow, Scotland @ The Cathouse 15th Newcastle, England @ Northumbria Uni 16th Pwhelli, Wales @ Hammerfest 17th London, England @ The Garage 18th Rouen, France @ Le 106 19th Esch-sur-alzette, Luxembourg @ Kulturfabrik 20th Lyon, France @ Le Ninkasi Kao 21st Winterthur, Switzerland @ Salzhaus 22nd Vienna, Austria @ Szene 23rd Bologna, Italy @ Zr 24th Milano, Italy @ The Tunnel 25th Nürnberg, Germany @ Rockfabrik 26th Aschaffenburg, Germany @ Colos-sal 27th Hamburg, Germany @ Logo
Posted in Features on December 20th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Please note: This list is my personal picks, not the Readers Poll, which is ongoing — if you haven’t added your list yet, please do.
As ever, I’ve kept a Post-It note on my wall all year long, and as the weeks and months have ticked away, I’ve added names of bands to it in preparation for putting together my Top 20 of 2012. There was a glut of excellent material this year, and I know for a fact I didn’t hear everything, but from bold forays into new sonic territory to triumphant returns to startling debuts, 2012 simply astounded. Even as I type this, I’m getting emails about new, exciting releases. It’s enough to make you lose your breath.
Before we get down to it and start in with the numbers, the hyperbole, etc., I want to underscore the point that this list is mine. I made it. It’s not the Readers Poll results, which will be out early in January. It’s based on how I hear things, how much I listened to each of these records, the impressions they left on me — critical opinion enters into it, because whether or not I want to I can’t help but consider things on that level when I listen to a new album these days — but it’s just as much about what I put on when I wanted to hear a band kick ass as it is about which records carried the most critical significance or import within their respective genres.
Over the last couple years, I’ve come to think of the #20 spot as where I put my sentimental favorite. That was the case with Suplecs last year, and in 2012, the return of Mos Generator earns the spot. The band being led by guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, Nomadsmarked a rehifting of Reed‘s priorities from Stone Axe, with whom he’d proffered ’70s worship for several years prior, and wound up as a collection of some of my favorite heavy rock songs of 2012 — tracks like “Cosmic Ark,” “Torches” and “Lonely One Kenobi” were as strong in their hooks as they were thorough in their lack of pretense. But the bottom line is I’m a nerd for Reed‘s songwriting, playing and production (more on that to come), and at this point it’s not really something I can even pretend to judge impartially. Still, the record’s friggin’ awesome and you should hear it as soon as you can.
Seems like it would make sense to say Golden Void would be higher on the list if I’d spent more time with it — written up just a month ago, it’s the most recent review here — but the fact is I’ve sat with Golden Void‘s self-titled debut a lot over the course of the last month-plus, and I’ve been digging the hell out of it. Really, the only reason it’s not further up is because I don’t feel like I have distance enough from it to judge how it holds up over a longer haul, but either way, the Isaiah Mitchell-led outfit’s blend of heavy psych, driving classic rock and retro style gave some hope for beefing up the US’ take on ’70s swagger — usually left to indie bands who, well, suck at it — and also showed Mitchell as a more than capable vocalist where those who knew him from his work in Earthless may only have experienced his instrumental side. A stellar debut, a wonderful surprise, and a band I can’t wait to hear more from in the years to come.
This was basically the soundtrack to my summer. From the catch-you-off-guard aggression in opener “I Spit on Your Grave” to the extended stoneralia of “Master of Nuggets” and the jammy “Southern Comfort and Northern Lights,” the follow-up to Wight‘s self-produced debut Wight Weedy Wight(review here) showed an astonishing amount of growth, and though it had the laid back, loose feel that distinguishes the best of current European heavy psych, Through the Woods into Deep Waterwas also coherent, cohesive and impeccably structured. I thought it was one of the year’s strongest albums when it was released, and its appeal has only endured — as much as I listened to it when it was warm over the summer, now in December I put it on wishing the temperature would change to match. The songs showed remarkable potential from the German three-piece and cast them in an entirely different light than did their first out. Really looking forward to where they might go from here, but in the meantime, I’m nowhere near done with Through the Woods into Deep Wateryet.
“Oh, Moon Queen! Flyin’ down the world on a moonbeam!” Somehow the first lines of the opening title-track to Lord Fowl‘s Moon Queen always seem to wind up stuck in my head. The Connecticut foursome made their debut on Small Stone with the loosely thematic full-length, and touched on a sense of unabashedly grandiose ’70s heavy rock in the process. That said, Moon Queenwasn’t shooting for retro in the slightest — rather, guitarist/vocalists Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino fronted the band’s classic sensibilities with a wholly modern edge, like something out of an alternate dimension where rock never started to suck. The classic metal guitar in “Streets of Evermore” and the swaying groove from bassist Jon Conine and drummer Don Freeman under the wandering leads of “Hollow Horn” made Moon Queenmore stylistically diverse than it might otherwise have been, but at its core, it was a collection of stellar heavy rock songs, unashamed of its hooks and unafraid to put its passions front and center. They packed a lot into a 47-minute runtime, but I’ve yet to dig into Moon Queen and regret having pressed play. Another band to watch out for.
It was impossible not to be swept up in the hype surrounding Pallbearer‘s Profound Lore debut, but one listen to Sorrow and Extinctionand it was clear that its resounding praise was well earned. By blending thickened psychedelic tonality and emotionally resonant melodies, the Little Rock, Arkansas, four-piece concocted the single most important American doom release of the year. Their efforts did not go unnoticed, and as they supported the album on tour, the swell of the crowds spoke to the right-idea-right-time moment they were able to capture in songs like the stunning “An Offering of Grief” and “The Legend.” There’s room for growth — I wouldn’t be surprised to find guitarist Brett Campbell‘s vocal range greatly developed next time out — but Pallbearer have already left a mark on doom, and if they can keep the momentum going into wherever they go from here, it won’t be long before they’re being cited as having a significant impact on the genre and influencing others in their wake.
I already singled out Kadavar‘s Kadavaras the 2012 Debut of the Year, so if you need any sense of the reverence I think the German trio earned, take whatever you will from that. There really isn’t much to add — though I could nerd out about Kadavar‘s ultra-effective retroisms all day if you’re up for it — but something I haven’t really touched on yet about the record: When I was out in Philly last weekend, the DJ cleverly mixed Kadavar into a set of early ’70s jams, and it was all but indistinguishable in sound from the actual classics. That in itself is an achievement, but Kadavar‘s level of craft also stands them out among their modern peers, and it was drummer Tiger‘s snare sound that I first recognized in “All Our Thoughts,” so right down to the most intricate details, Kadavar‘s Kadavarwas a gripping and enticing affair that proved there’s still ground to cover in proto-heavy worship.
The fuzz was great — don’t get me wrong, I loved the fuzz — but with Stubb‘s Stubb, it was even more about the songs themselves. Whether it was the interplay between guitarist Jack Dickinson and bassist Peter Holland (also of Trippy Wicked) on vocals for the chorus of “Scale the Mountain” or the thickened shuffle in “Soul Mover” punctuated by drummer Chris West‘s (also Trippy Wicked and Groan) ever-ready fills, there wasn’t a clunker in the bunch, and though it’s an album I’ve basically been hearing since the beginning of the year, its appeal has endured throughout and I still find myself going back to it where many others have already been forgotten. With the acoustic “Crosses You Bear” and more laid-bare emotionality of “Crying River,” Stubb showed there was more them than excellence of tone and with the seven-minute finale “Galloping Horses,” they showed they were ready to jam with the best. Truly memorable songs — and also one of the live highlights of my year.
Orange Goblin‘s purpose seemed reborn on their seventh album and Candlelight Records debut, A Eulogy for the Damned. Culling the best elements from their last couple albums, 2007′s Healing Through Fire and 2004′s Thieving from the House of God, the long-running London troublemakers upped the production value and seemed bent from the start on taking hold of the day’s sympathy toward their brand of heavy. With tales of alcoholic regret, classic horrors and a bit of cosmic exploration for good measure, they marked their ascent to the top of the British scene and took well to the role of statesmen, headlining Desertfest and proceeding to smash audiences to pieces around the continent at fests and on tours. Look for them to do the same when they bring the show Stateside in 2013 with Clutch. Their plunder is well earned, and I still rarely go 48 hours without hearing the bridge of “The Fog” in my head. Can’t wait to see them again.
While I still miss Los Natas, my grief for their passing has been much eased over the last two years by frontman Sergio Chotsourian‘s doomier explorations in Ararat. The first album, 2009′sMusica de la Resistencia(review here), ran concurrent to Los Natas‘ swansong, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad, but with II, the new three-piece came into their own, setting space rock synth against low-end sprawl, thick drumming and Chotsourian‘s penchant for experimenting with structure. Extended tracks “Caballos” and “La Ira del Dragon (Uno)” were positively encompassing, and showed Ararat not only as a distinct entity from Los Natas, but a turn stylistically for Chotsourian into elephantine plod, wide-open atmospherics and a likewise expansive creative sensibility. The acoustic “El Inmigrante” and piano-led “Atenas” offered sonic diversity while enriching the mood, and closer “Tres de Mayo” hinted at some of the melding of the various sides that might be in store in Ararat‘s future. If the jump from the first record to the second is any indicator, expect something expansive and huge to come.
Italian cosmic doom meganauts Ufomammut outdid themselves yet again with Oro, breaking up a single full-length into two separate releases, Oro: Opus Primum and Oro: Opus Alter. But the album — which I’ve decided to list as the single entity Oro rather than its two component parts basically to save myself some brain space — was more than just big in terms of its runtime. More importantly, Ufomammut were able to hold firm to their commitment to stylistic growth, drawing on their greatest triumph yet, 2010′s Eve (review here), the trio pushed themselves even further on their Neurot Recordings debut, resulting in an album worthy of the legacy of those releasing it. I don’t know if Oro will come to define Ufomammut as Eve already seems to have — dividing it as they did may have made it harder for listeners to grasp it as a single piece — but it shows that there’s simply no scaring the band out of themselves. Brilliantly tied together around a central progression that showed up in “Empireum” from Opus Primumand “Sublime” on Opus Alter, I have the feeling Ufomammut will probably have another album out before Oro‘s breadth has fully set in.
Behold the standard bearers of heavy. It wasn’t long after hearing UK trio Conan for the first time that I began using them as a touchstone to see how other bands stacked up, and to be honest, almost no one has. Led by the inimitable lumber provided by the tone of guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis (interview here), Conan stripped down their approach for Monnos, returning to Foel Studio in Wales to work with producer Chris Fielding — who’d also helmed their 2010 Horseback Battle HammerEP — and the resulting effort was both trim and humongous. Early tracks like “Hawk as Weapon,” “Battle in the Swamp” (an old demo given new life) and “Grim Tormentor” actually managed to be catchy as well as sonically looming, and the more extended closing duo of “Headless Hunter” and “Invincible Throne” showed that Conan could both use their tone to build forward momentum and plod their way into ultra-slow, ultra-grim despairing nothingness. Monnos affirmed Conan as one of the most pivotal acts in doom, and with new material and a home studio reportedly in the works, as well as further European touring on the docket for early 2013, their onslaught shows no signs of letting up. Right fucking on.
In some ways, it seems like the easiest thing in the world, but with My Sleeping Karma‘s fourth full-length, Soma, it really was just a question of a band taking their sound to a completely new level. The German heavy psych instrumentalists brought forth the sweetness of tone their guitars have harnessed over the course of their three prior offerings, but the progressive keyboard flourishes, the warmth in the bass, the tight pop of the drums — it all clicked on Somain a way that the other records hinted was possible and made the album the payoff to the four-piece’s long-established potential. Wrapped around the titular theme of a drink of the gods and with its tracks spaced out by varying ambient interludes, no moment on the album felt like it wasn’t serving the greater purpose of the whole, and the whole proved to be a worthy purpose indeed. Hands down my favorite instrumental release of the year and an effort that pushed My Sleeping Karma to the front of the pack in the crowded European heavy psych scene.
The damnedest thing happens every time I turn on Graveyard‘s third album, Lights Out, in that before I’m halfway through opener “An Industry of Murder,” I have to turn it up. The reigning kings of Swedish retro heavy wasted no time following up 2011′s stunning sophomore outing, Hisingen Blues(review here), and with the four-year gap between their self-titled debut and the second record, it was a surprise from the moment it was announced, but more than that, Lights Outshowed remarkable development in Graveyard‘s sound, offering elements of classic soul on songs like “Slow Motion Coundown” and “Hard Times Lovin’” to stand alongside the brash rock and roll of “Seven Seven” or the irresistible hook provided by “The Suits, the Law and the Uniforms” or the single “Goliath.” A landmark vocal performance from guitarist Joakim Nilsson and newly surfaced political bent to the lyrics hinted that Graveyard were nowhere near done growing, but seriously, if they put out four or five more records in the vein of Lights Out, I doubt there’d be too many complaints. Already one can hear the influence they’ve had on European heavy rock, and Lights Outisn’t likely to slow that process in the slightest.
Three drum hits and then the lurching “Let Them Fall” — the leadoff track on the first Saint Vitus studio album since 1995 — is underway, and it’s exactly that lack of pomp, that lack of pretense, that makes Lillie: F-65so righteous. Admittedly, it’s a reunion album. They toured for a couple years playing old material, then finally decided to settle in and let guitarist Dave Chandler (interview here) start coming up with a batch of songs, but you can’t argue with the results. They nailed it. With Tony Reed‘s perfect production (discussed here), Vitus captured the classic tonality in Chandler‘s guitar and Mark Adams‘ bass and kept to their sans-bullshit ethic: A short, 33-minute album that leaves their audience wondering where the hell that assault of noise just came from. Scott “Wino” Weinrich‘s presence up front was unmistakable with Chandler‘s punkish, no-frills lyrics (as well as his own on “Blessed Night,” the first song they wrote for the album), and drummer Henry Vasquez not only filled the shoes of the late Armando Acosta but established his own persona behind the kit. I hope it’s not their last record, but if it is, Saint Vitus came into and left Lillie: F-65as doom legends, and their work remains timeless.
Talk about a band who shirked expectation. Guitarist/vocalist Justin Maranga and I discussed that aspect of Ancestors a bit in an interview over the summer, but it’s worth underscoring. There was next to nothing in either of Ancestors‘ first two albums to hint at where they’d go with the third. Both Neptune with Fire and Of Sound Mind(review here) were rousing, riff-led efforts that headed toward a particular heavy sensibility, but it was with last year’s Invisible WhiteEP (review here) that the L.A. outfit began to show the progressive direction they were heading. And In Dreams and Timeis even a departure from that! It’s kind of a departure from reality as well, with the Moog/organ/synth mesh from Matt Barks and Jason Watkins (also vocals), dreamy basslines from Nick Long and hold-it-all-together drumming of Jamie Miller — since out of the band. Closer “First Light” was my pick for song of the year, and had the album been comprised of that track along, it’d probably still be on this list somewhere, but with the complement given to it by the piano sprawl of “On the Wind” and driving riffs and vocal interplay of “Correyvreckan” (if you haven’t heard Long‘s bass on the latter as well, you should), there was little left to question that this was the strongest Ancestors release of their career to date and hopefully the beginning of a new era in their sound. They’ve never been what people wanted them to be, but I for one like not knowing what to expect before it shows up, at least where these guys are concerned.
After what I saw as a lackluster production for 2010′s Snakes for the Divine, Oakland, CA, trio High on Fire aligned themselves with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge) for De Vermis Mysteriis and completely renewed the vitality in their attack. Built on the insistence of “Bloody Knuckles,” furious fuckall of “Fertile Green,” unmitigated piracy of “Serums of Laio” and eerie crawl in “King of Days,” De Vermis Mysteriis was both aggressive in High on Fire‘s raid-your-brain-for-THC tradition and extreme in ways they’ve never been before. Groovers like the instrumental “Samsara” and earlier “Madness of an Architect” offered bombast where the thrash may have relented, while “Spiritual Rites” proved that guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike (also Sleep; interview here), bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensell had arrived at a new threshold of speed and intensity. Whatever personal issues may have been in play at the time, High on Fire delivered a blistering full-length that stands up to and in many ways surpasses any prior viciousness in their catalog, and their level of performance on their current tour makes it plain to see that the band is ready for ascendency to the heights of metal. They are conquerors to the last, and if De Vermis Mysteriisis what I get for wavering, then I’ll consider my lesson hammered home in every second of feedback, tom thud and grueling second of distortion topped with Pike‘s signature growl.
When I interviewed interviewed Steve Von Till about Honor Found in Decay, the Neurosis guitarist/vocalist called the band “a chaos process” in reference to their songwriting. I have no trouble believing that, because while Neurosis stand among the most influential heavy metal bands of their generation — having had as much of an effect on what’s come after them as, say, Meshuggah or Sleep, while also having little sonically in common with either of them — it’s also nearly impossible to pinpoint one aspect of their sound that defines them. The churning rhythms in the riffing of Von Till and his fellow frontman, guitarist/vocalist Scott Kelly (interview here), Dave Edwardson‘s intensity on bass and periodic vocal, the assured percussive creativity of Jason Roeder and theexperimental edge brought to bear in Noah Landis‘ synth and sampling all prove to be essential elements of the whole. On Honor Found in Decay — and this isn’t to take away anything from any other particular member’s songwriting contributions — it would be Landis standing out with his greatest contributions yet, becoming as much a defining element in songs like “At the Well,” “Bleeding the Pigs” and “Casting of the Ages” as either Kelly or Von Till‘s guitars. Had I never seen the band before, I’d have a hard time believing Honor Found in Decay could possibly be representative of their live sound, but they are every bit as crushing, as oppressive and as emotionally visceral on stage — if not more so — as they are on the album, and while their legacy has long since been set among the most important heavy acts ever, period, as they climb closer to the 30-year mark (they’ll get there in 2015), Neurosis continue to refuse to bow to what’s expected of them or write material that doesn’t further their decades-long progression. They are worthy of every homage paid them, and more.
It’s hard for me to properly convey just how happy listening to Greenleaf‘s Nest of Vipersmakes me, and I’ve got several false starts already deleted to prove it. The Swedish supergroup of vocalist Oskar Cedermalm (Truckfighters), guitarists Tommi Holappa and Johan Rockner (both Dozer), bassist Bengt Bäcke (engineer for Dozer, Demon Cleaner, etc.) and drummer Olle Mårthans (Dozer) last released an album in 2007. That was Agents of Ahriman, which was one of my favorite albums of the last decade. No shit. Not year, decade. With a slightly revamped lineup and Dozer‘s maybe-final album, 2008′s Beyond Colossal, and the never-got-off-the-ground side-project Dahli between, Nest of Viperslanded this past winter and with the shared membership, Karl Daniel Lidén production and consistency of songwriting from Holappa (interview here), I immediately saw it as a sequel to the last Dozer, but really it goes well beyond that. Tracks like “Dreamcatcher,” “Case of Fidelity,” “The Timeline’s History” and soaring opener “Jack Staff” show that although they’d never really toured to that point and been through various lineups over the years, Greenleaf was nonetheless an entity unto its own. Cedermalm‘s vocals were a triumph, Mårthans‘ drumming unhinged and yet grounded, and guest appearances from organist Per Wiberg and vocalists Peder Bergstrand (Lowrider/I are Droid) and Fredrik Nordin (Dozer) only enriched the album for repeat listens, which I’m thrilled to say it gets to this very day. If I called it a worthy successor both to Dozer and to Agents of Ahriman, those words alone would probably fall short of conveying quite how much that means on a personal level, so let its placement stand as testimony instead. This is one I’ll be enjoying for years to come, and when I’m done writing this feature, this is the one I’m gonna put back on to listen through again. It has been, and no doubt will continue to be, a constant.
Go figure that the Om record two albums after the one called Pilgrimagewould feel so much like a journey. Further including multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Robert A. A. Lowe (also of experimental one-man outfit Lichens) alongside the established core duo of drummer Emil Amos (also of Grails) and bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (also of Sleep), as well as incorporating a range of guest appearances from the likes of Grayceon‘s Jackie Perez Gratz on cello and Worm Ouroboros‘ Lorraine Rath (who appeared on 2010′s God is Goodas well) on flute, Om fleshed out what was once a signature minimalism to the point of being a lush, constantly moving and markedly fluid entity. Cisneros, as the remaining founder and lead vocalist, served as a unifying presence in the material — his bass still was still very much as the center of “Gethsemane” or the more straightforward and distorted “State of Non-Return” — but those songs and “Addis,” “Sinai” and gloriously melodic closer “Haqq al-Yaqin” amounted to more than any single performance, and where prior Om outings had dug themselves deep into a kind of solitary contemplation, Advaitic Songslooked outward with a palpable sense of musical joy and a richness of experience that could only be called spiritual, however physically or emotionally arresting it might also prove. I’ve found it works best in the morning, as a way to transition from that state of early half-there into the waking world — which no doubt has more harshness in mind than the sweet acoustics and tabla at the end of “Haqq al-Yaqin” — so that some of that sweetness can remain and help me face whatever might come throughout the day. A morning ceremony and a bit of meditation to reorder the consciousness.
Didn’t it have to be Colour Haze? Didn’t it? Two discs of the finest heavy psychedelic rock the world has to offer — yes I mean that — plus all they went through to get it out, the drama of building and rebuilding a studio, recording and re-recording, pressing and repressing, what else could it have been but She Said? After two-plus years of waiting, I was just so glad when it actually existed. Late in 2008, the Munich trio released All, and that was my album of the year that year as well (kudos to anyone who has that issue of Metal Maniacs), but I feel like even if you strip all that away and take away all the drama and the band’s influence, their standing in the European scene, guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek (interview here) fostering next-gen talent on Elektrohasch and whatever else you want or need to remove, She Said still holds up. Just the songs themselves. The extra percussion layered in with Manfred Merwald‘s drums on “She Said,” the horns and Duna Jam-ambience on “Transformation,” the unpretentious boogie of “This” on disc one, or the rush of “Slowdown” on disc two and the culmination the whole album gets when the strings kick in on “Grace.” Those strings. God damn. Suddenly a 2CD release makes sense, when each is given its own progression, its own destination at which to arrive, and tired as I am I still tear up like clockwork when I put on “Grace” just to hear it while I type about it. Beautifully arranged, wonderfully executed, She Saidcouldn’t be anywhere but at the top spot on this list. The warmth in Koglek‘s guitar and Philipp Rasthofer‘s bass on “Breath” and the way their jams always seem to have someplace to go, I feel like I’m listening to a moment exquisitely captured. There isn’t a doubt in my mind Colour Haze are the most potent heavy rock power trio in the world, and that their chemistry has already and will continue to inspire others around them, but most importantly, She Saidmet the true album-of-the-year criteria in not seeming at all limited to the confines of 2012 — as though it had some kind of expiration date. Not so. Even though I’ve already been through them more times than I know or would care to share had I counted, I look forward to getting to know the songs on She Saidover the years to come, and as I have with Colour Haze‘s works in the past, seeing their appeal change over time the way the best of friends do. It couldn’t have been anything but Colour Haze. Whatever hype other albums or bands have, for me, it’s this, and that’s it.
If this list went to 25, the next five would be:
21. Snail, Terminus
22. Revelation, Inner Harbor
23. Wo Fat, The Black Code
24. Groan, The Divine Right of Kings
25. Caltrop, Ten Million Years and Eight Minutes
Honorable mention goes to: Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight (another one about whom I have a hard time being impartial), Mighty High, At Devil Dirt, Bell Witch, Samothrace, Enslaved, Viaje a 800, and Larman Clamor.
Also worth noting some conspicuous absences: Witchcraft, Swans, Baroness, Royal Thunder, The Sword, Torche. These albums garnered a strong response and have done well in the Readers Poll looking at the results so far, but please keep in mind, this is my list, I took a night to sleep on it, I stand by it and I’ve got my reasons for selecting what I did. You’ll find about 5,000 words of them above.
Thank you as always for reading. If you disagree with any picks, want to add your own take on any of the above, or anything else — really, whatever’s cool — please leave a comment below.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
…And they don’t mean, “Help me get that tree out of my yard” Sandy relief either. They mean like for people who don’t have a house anymore. Good for Ripple Music who continue to couple their love of all things classic, heavy and rockin’ with a desire to do some good in the world. Rare test pressings of Mos Generator and Stone Axe LPs will be going out this week on their eBay store, so make sure you follow the link to check it out. Yes, I’ve already added it to my “Watch List.”
Charity Auction for Superstorm Sandy Relief, Package Deal for Both STONE AXE and MOS GENERATOR LP Test Pressings
Continuing with the company tradition of giving back to the community, Ripple Music will auction a pair of extremely Rare Original Test Pressings in one package. Stone Axe: Captured Live! and Mos Generator Nomads vinyl are being made available with proceeds going to Superstorm Sandy Relief.
Only 5 copies of each test pressings exist, and these are the only one’s being made available to the public! You can jump into the auction, win a cool heavy rock collectible and benefit the agencies that commit money and manpower to lend a helping hand. To do so, just visit us at theRipple Music Ebay Store! The auction will start on Monday, November 19th and end on Monday, November 26th.
The Stone Axe and Mos Generator test press auction is the latest in a growing line of charity auctions that Ripple Music has created. Previously, rare JPT Scare Band, Mos Generator, Stone Axe, and the Heavy Ripples test pressings were auctioned with proceeds going to Gulf Disaster, The Wounded Warrior Fund, Japan Tsunami and the Joplin Tornado disaster relief agencies. With the sacrifices made by the men and women to assist their fellow Americans in need, Ripple founders John Rancik and Todd Severin thought the time was right to release another rare test pressing from their vault and raise money for a worthwhile effort.
This poster was sent my way and it was too badass not to post. Not to mention the show is awesome. If you’re in Seattle, I don’t know what else might be going on Saturday, Nov. 24, but I do know that if anything’s going to knock you out of post-Thanksgiving MSG blues, it’s a gig with Mos Generator, VALIS and Seattle’s own Ancient Warlocks. Start making the excuses to your family now.
It’s the release show for VALIS‘ new album, Minds through Space and Time, and Mos Generator will have their new one, Nomads, on hand as well. Ancient Warlocks play third and so appear at the top of this killer poster, put together by Adam Burke of the band Fellwoods:
Posted in Reviews on September 7th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s as pure an example of heavy rock as I’ve heard in 2012. Washington trio Mos Generator, having been revitalized by guitarist/vocalist/friend of the site Tony Reed after a few years’ successful run in classic rockers Stone Axe, mark their return with Nomads, a collection of varied but straightforward songs that hearken to classic influences, but ultimately emerge as modern, full and engaging. Tonally weighted in Reed’s guitar and Scooter Haslip’s bass but never veering into stonerly fuzz, the nine songs of Nomads are pointed in their lack of pretense, unabashed in their hooks and balanced in both composition and production. The album, also produced by Reed, sees release via ongoing partnership with Ripple Music, which also deluxe-reissued Mos Generator’s self-titled debut earlier this year (review here) and has reissued Stone Axe material as well, and though Reed is a talented vocalist and guitarist and a skilled engineer – anyone who heard his production on, say, Saint Vitus’ Lillie: F-65 can immediately recognize his sound as comes through on Shawn Johnson’s drums – what’s most at the fore in listening to Nomads is the songwriting. Structurally traditional, cuts like “Can’t Get Where I Belong,” “Lonely One Kenobi” and even the more expansive closer “This is the Gift of Nature” wrap themselves around landmark choruses, classic rock hooks given vital presentation. Contrary to the reds and blacks of the cover art and its memento mori crow, the mood of most of the album is relatively light, and it opens upbeat with a strong trio of infectious cuts in “Cosmic Ark,” “Lonely One Kenobi” and “Torches,” keeping a crisp and clean sound throughout that results in an overarching accessibility for everything that follows, including the penultimate title-track, an acoustic interlude that sets up “This is the Gift of Nature” to round out the proceedings. A vinyl structure is evident with a split between the moodier fourth track “Step Up” and the ‘80s street metal riffing of “Solar Angels,” but the latter works as well as the centerpiece of the Nomads CD, a focal point and standout both in style and substance on Mos Generator’s fifth album (that’s counting 2006’s The Vault Sessions) and their first outing since 2008’s Destroy! The Mos Generator compilation.
As the singer, guitarist, producer and main songwriter, Reed is obviously a focal point on Nomads, and his approach to the revived Mos Generator is no different than it ever has been going back to the self-titled. He writes quality heavy rock songs with pop structures, shifts mood effectively and sets up an overall flow despite each track having a distinct personality of its own. “Cosmic Ark,” however, gets underway with an immediate bounce, and it’s Johnson’s drums and Haslip’s bass carrying across the potent groove as Reed relates lyrics about weedian travel through space and time that actually wind up being the most stoner rock facet of the song, and indeed, the album. It’s kind of a curious track in relation to what’s around it, but as the opener it works both because it’s fun and because of the quality of the hook, which gives way to a short bluesy lead and a subdued section of oohs and aahs that set up some of the variety to come later. At 3:31, it’s a classic radio number, and though “Lonely One Kenobi” was selected as the first single from Nomads (video premiere here) – one expects the referential title had something to do with that – “Cosmic Ark” could easily follow as the next. In the meantime, perhaps “Lonely One Kenobi” is a better representation of the album overall, more grounded lyrically and no less catchy than the opener. Reed seems to be referencing Dio-era Sabbath in the verse, bringing his voice up in the third line in a fashion similar to “Wishing Well” from the Heaven and Hell album, and that’s not the last ‘80s metal nod to come, but the song is undeniably Mos Generator’s own. One of the longer tracks at just over five minutes, its pulse is quick, Johnson working some swing into the drums and playing off the start-stop riff smoothly as Haslip deftly changes with the guitar between the verse groove and the chorus’ more forward-driving chorus, a path through it marked by Johnson’s snare and Reed’s “wan”-esque pronunciation of “one,” showing the basis for the name of the track. Reed takes a solo after the first chorus, and the verse reemerges to set up a second chorus, more hurriedly cadenced in the vocals, and another lead that serves as the outro, and when it’s over, I’m left wondering where that five minutes went because it happened so damned fast.
Contrary to what you might presume from the photo above, Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers Mos Generator have seen the light. They decided to make a video about it.
The first thing you’ll probably notice in listening to “Lonely One Kenobi” from Mos Generator‘s new album, Nomads(review coming soon), is that it is crazily, unabashedly, apologetically catchy. The power trio of guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, bassist Scooter Haslip and drummer Shawn Johnson have outdone themselves with the album, which is due out Oct. 23 on Ripple Music, and I can only assume that the yellow light in which the video finds them bathing as they perform the track is powered by the chorus.
Speaking of the chorus, the title of the song is also going to make a lot more sense once you hear it.
Please enjoy “Lonely One Kenobi” from Nomads, followed by some PR wire-type info from Ripple:
MOS GENERATOR Premiere “Lonely One Kenobi” Video
MOS GENERATOR and The Obelisk have once again teamed up on an exclusive premiere, this time for the first video from the Nomads album, “Lonely One Kenobi”. Going for the throat on the lead single from Nomads, “Lonely One Kenobi” is a classic MOS GENERATOR tune that thunders with heavy aggression and then soothes the soul with heart melting melodies. Shrouded in smokey mystery, this performance video was shot on a shoe-string budget with one camera and a few lights, showing that simplicity is usually the best method for getting the message across.
“Lonely One was the first song we wrote in the batch of new songs we recorded for Nomads. From the first time we played it live I could tell it was a strong number,” said Tony Reed when asked about the choice of lead singles, “And as for the video, yeah, I’m happy with the way Lonely One came out with what we had to work with. We’ve had a very positive response from people who have already seen the video.”
Nomads will be available world-wide on October 23rd, 2012 through Ripple Music. The nine track album features the heaviness and elegant melody that have become the trademark sounds of the band, but this time lyrically exploring the more introspective paths of soul salvation. The Port Orchard, Washington rock n’ roll nomads spent almost a year tracking, recording, and mixing the new album until they were happy with the end result, constantly holding the material to the light, never wanting to release anything less than stellar.
Nomads will be available through Nail/Allegro Distribution in the U.S., Code 7 in the UK, and Clearspot International through continental Europe. Look for MOS GENERATOR on the road throughout the Pacific Northwest starting in September with possible more road work in 2013.
Track List: 1. Cosmic Ark 2. Lonely One Kenobi 3. Torches 4. Step Up 5. Solar Angels 6. For Your Blood 7. Can’t Get Where I Belong 8. Nomads/This Is The Gift Of Nature
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
As the kids would say, I am “all jazzed up” (the kids say that, right?) at the prospect of a new Mos Generator album. Nomadsis due out Oct. 23 on Ripple Music, and the first batch out tour dates to support the record have been announced. Sure, they’re all on the other side of the country, but it’s still pretty cool.
Click the poster to enlarge and revel in the informative nature of what follows:
MOS GENERATOR Announce Live Dates in Support of Nomads, Support Slot with Saint Vitus
Hitting the road for select dates throughout the Pacific Northwest, MOS GENERATOR are proud to announce upcoming live dates starting this September, cuminating with an opening slot for St. Vitus as the legendary Doom merchants ply their trade across the U.S. For the Port Orchard trio, getting back on the live circuit to support their latest Ripple Music release, Nomads, is where they feel the music will take on a life of it’s own.
“Mos Generator has always embraced the live setting and where we feel our chemistry really comes together,” states guitarist/singer Tony Reed , “The songs take on a different form from night to night, one of us will throw out a new twist and the other two will pick up on it and take it where it feels best to go. It’s also very organic and a great outlet for us to fulfill musical needs we don’t get from the recording process.”
It’s been five years since the world has heard new material from MOS GENERATOR, and fortunately, that streak is about to end! Nomads will be available world-wide on October 23rd, 2012 through Ripple Music. The nine track album features the heaviness and elegant melody that have become the trademark sounds of the band, but this time lyrically exploring the more introspective paths of soul salvation. The Port Orchard, Washington rock n’ roll nomads spent almost a year tracking, recording, and mixing the new album until they were happy with the end result, constantly holding the material to the light, never wanting to release anything less than stellar.
Nomads will be available through Nail/Allegro Distribution in the U.S., Code 7 in the UK, and Clearspot International through continental Europe. Look for MOS GENERATOR on the road throughout the Pacific Northwest starting in September with possible more road work in 2013.
Track List: 1. Cosmic Ark 2. Lonely One Kenobi 3. Torches 4. Step Up 5. Solar Angels 6. For Your Blood 7. Can’t Get Where I Belong 8. Nomads/This Is The Gift Of Nature
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