Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Remember like an hour ago when I said there were some killer shows emerging as a result of Day of the Shred being canceled? Well, this is one of them. Nov. 1 in Pomona, California, at The Glass House, former Kyuss, Slo Burn, Unida, Hermano, Vista Chino, etc. frontman John Garcia — who also toured Europe this summer — will play his first show in the Los Angeles area since the release of his 2014 self-titled debut solo album (review here), and he’ll be joined on the bill by his former Kyuss bandmate Nick Oliveri as the latter’s group, Mondo Generator, wraps up a tour with Spirit Caravan.
Spirit Caravan are also set to play — and just for good measure I’ll mention the maybe-gonna-happen-maybe-not-gonna-happen Royale Daemons project between Oliveri and Spirit Caravan‘s Scott “Wino” Weinrich — and Elder, Mos Generator and Full of Hell are also on the impressive lineup, but an onstage collaboration between Garcia and Oliveri that was originally supposed to take place at Day of the Shred is what really makes the gig stand out. For the first time since Oliveri left Kyuss Lives! following the lawsuit that eventually led that project to change its name to Vista Chino, he and Garcia will share a stage performing Kyuss material.
As to what the set might be, or when it might happen, with Garcia‘s band backing or with Mondo Generator behind them, or some combination of the two, I have no idea. None. But as I understand it, Garcia will sing while Oliveri plays bass and they’ll be playing Kyuss tunes, which even in this post-Kyuss Lives! age is something pretty special. Vista Chino are slated to appear at next year’s Hellfest in France, and with that band’s bassist, Mike Dean, potentially busy with a new album from his main outfit, Corrosion of Conformity, one can’t help but wonder if maybe this is a re-entry point for Oliveri into that group. One that might come ahead of a second record from them? Golly that would be nice.
Either way, cool show, should you happen to find yourself in SoCal the night after Halloween, as it seems many people will. Info’s sporadic, but you can find some at the links if you look hard enough.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
The 2016 edition of the Maryland Doom Fest will take place June 24, 25 and 26 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD. You might recall late in 2014, when the initial word surfaced about the festival’s inaugural billing, it was a complete lineup announced, date, and place, all done straightforward in the tradition of the style being celebrated. In that regard, 2016 will be no different. Festival organizers JB Matson (also of War Injun) and Mark Cruikshank have unveiled the complete Maryland Doom Fest 2016 lineup, and while the core remains very much in the region’s sphere of heavy downer riffs, the palette has clearly expanded as well.
A broader reach pulls in the likes of Mos Generator, Ruby the Hatchet and Hollow Leg, and while headliners Spirit Caravan are a returning act from the 2015 fest, they’ll be joined by classic heavy rockers Bang and Asylum (Unorthodox by their original name), ensuring that even as the Maryland Doom Fest 2016 reveres its finest exports, it pays strict attention to the lineage from where it all comes and the hometown crowd too. All told, it’s a wide-ranging but universally heavy grouping of bands, from the epic classic metal of Argus to the cult rock of Demon Eye, and while realistically there will probably be a shift or two in the lineup between now and next June — things fall through, people get added, and so on — it looks like it’s going to be a hell of a weekend. If and when I hear of changes, I’ll let you know.
Tickets are on sale today, and I’m honored to have my logo on the poster. Full lineup and links follow:
The second edition of a weekend of doom in its purest form.
We are stoked about the second installment of The Maryland Doom Fest with 25 kickass bands!
Spirit Caravan BANG Asylum (Unorthodox) Argus War Injun Orodruin Blackfinger Kelly Carmichael (Internal Void) New Project Earthen Grave Black Urn Doperider Mos Generator Hollow Leg Ruby The Hatchet Admiral Browning Pale Divine Toke Flummox Demon Eye Wicked Inquisition Seasick Gladiator Karma to Burn Eternal Black King Giant Spillage Wasted Theory
Posted in audiObelisk on September 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
One can hear a bit of electric guitar tucked in at the end of “Easy Evil,” but no question it’s a different listen than has come to be expected from the Tony Reed-led Port Orchard, Washington, riff specialists, who’ve probably spent more time on the road in 2015 than in the decade and a half preceding. They’ll look to keep their rather considerable momentum going into the New Year with the release of the first unplugged-style offering in the band’s history. Comprised at this point of Reed (guitar, vocals, keys, recording, studio drums) and bassist Sean Booth, Mos Generator have always had their foundation in memorable songwriting, and as it’s impossible to sustain an unplugged offering without that, it makes sense that sooner or later they’d wind up working in the form. As Reed notes in his comments on making the record, which will be out early 2016 on H42 Records, the project was inspired by a few acoustic shows he did earlier this year.
The album, still waiting to reveal its title and artwork, will feature material old and new. “Easy Evil” doesn’t come across so differently in structure from a lot of what Mos Generator have done across their two full-lengths — last year’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) and 2012’s Nomads (review here) — and sundry shorter releases, splits, etc., since returning to activity following several years’ absence. Its structure is straightforward and the guitar leads the way. Reed‘s penchant for classic rock raucousness that shows itself live is given a back seat, however, to the central melody, and that winds up being how the track makes such a memorable impression. As a first taste of a larger work yet to be revealed, it teases flourishes of arrangement in its vocal layering and the already-noted electric guitar line in the back half, but winds up in a subdued place without sounding like it’s pandering to some forced idea of moodiness. Not an easy tightrope to walk for a band on their first acoustic outing, but as ever, it’s the songwriting that stands out.
Mos Generator will release their unplugged debut on H42 Records early next year. Please find the official announcement, including Reed‘s comments, after the stream of “Easy Evil” on the player below, and enjoy:
MOS GENERATOR’s FIRST ACOUSTIC ALBUM COMING EARLY 2016
The plugs are pulled! The very first Mos Generator acoustic album is in the works!
End of August 2015 Mos Generator went for a short first stop into the studio to records old songs as well as new songs and packed them into an acoustic garb. After their ongoing US tour with The Atomic Bitchwax they will stop for a second time in the studio to record the remaining songs for their first acoustic album.
The album appears as a limited edition Vinyl only on H42 Records early 2016!
Artwork is still in work and will be realized by the amazing Frank Popp from Germany, Berlin.
Comments Tony Reed:
This acoustic album will have some drastically different versions of songs from our back catalog and also a few new songs. I never considered doing an acoustic album for MG until I was forced to do some shows acoustically earlier this year and I realized how much different the songs were when played with open chords and sang with a mellow delivery. It’s been fun to rework the material for this style.
Album Title: TBA Album Art: TBA by Frank Popp Release: Early 2016 Tracklist: TBA Label: H42 Records
Posted in Reviews on August 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Even before you press play on Electric Ladyland [Redux] or its companion piece, The Best of James Marshall Hendrix, it’s hard not to admire the coordinating prowess of Magnetic Eye Records in making it all happen. Most people couldn’t corral three bands to put together a single show bill, and the label’s Mike Vitali has wrangled 20 acts from the US and European heavy rock underground to pay homage to Jimi Hendrix in time for what would’ve been the supra-legendary guitarist’s 75th birthday, topped it of with artwork by David Paul Seymour, whose piece for Electric Ladyland [Redux] easily stands among the best covers of 2015, and Caitlin Hackett, whose three-eyed-bird portraiture perfectly suits Hendrix‘s groundbreaking psychedelic blues. Packaged separately on 2CD and 2LP but clearly intended as complements, both tribute collections showcase staggering ambition on the part of the label putting them together, and the fact that Electric Ladyland [Redux] and The Best of James Marshall Hendrix materialized at all is an automatic, unqualified triumph. Here are the full tracklistings:
VA, Electric Ladyland [Redux]
1. Elephant Tree, “…And the Gods Made Love” 01:44
2. Open Hand, “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” 03:01
3. Superchief, “Crosstown Traffic” 03:32
4. All Them Witches, “Voodoo Chile” 14:59
5. Origami Horses, “Little Miss Strange” 03:52
6. The Heavy Eyes, “Long Hot Summer Night” 04:17
7. Earthless, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” 05:03
8. Wo Fat, “Gypsy Eyes” 04:34
9. Mos Generator, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” 03:34
10. Gozu, “Rainy Day, Dream Away” 08:07
11. Summoner, “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)” 12:56
12. Claymation, “Moon, Turn the Tides… Gently Gently Away” 01:24
13. Mothership, “Still Raining, Still Dreaming” 06:20
14. King Buffalo, “House Burning Down” 04:44
15. Tunga Moln, “All Along the Watchtower” 03:28
16. Elder, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” 07:08
VA, The Best of James Marshall Hendrix
1. Child, “In from the Storm” 04:57
2. Elephant Tree, “Manic Depression” 04:10
3. Wo Fat, “Machine Gun” 12:49
4. Stubb, “Little Wing” 04:18
5. Rosy Finch, “Foxy Lady” 05:17
6. Geezer, “Little Miss Lover” 04:50
7. Wo Fat, “Gypsy Eyes (Extended)” 07:13
As I said, staggering. Even more so in the case of Electric Ladyland [Redux], since not only do the usual comp and tribute album concerns apply of getting everything together and turning it into a cohesive listening experience, but also because in paying homage to a full-length album specifically, it’s also pivotal that Electric Ladyland [Redux] flows front to back whilebeing comprised of 16 separate recordings taking place in 16 separate studios with 16 separate performances andtreading on some of rock and roll’s most sacred, pivotal ground. Covering Hendrix? Unless you’re Stevie Ray Vaughan — and hell, even if you are — it’s a tricky proposition for one song, let alone a full record. It’s like someone asked Magnetic Eye if they wanted to go mountain biking and the label built a rocket, went to Mars, terraformed the planet and then decided to tackle Olympus Mons, on a Huffy.
Okay, an exaggeration, but you take my meaning. And Electric Ladyand [Redux] mostly succeeds in its decidedly Herculean mission. There are one or two changes that come across choppy — an early one in the jump from the groovy vibes of Elephant Tree and Open Hand into the burlier Superchief, who give an able showing of what they do but ultimately feel out of place — but on the whole, it’s hard to argue with the results as they’re presented throughout, whether it’s King Buffalo‘s dreamy “House Burning Down” or groups making the material their own, like Wo Fat‘s “Gypsy Eyes,” Summoner‘s re-envisioned “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)” and Gozu‘s adventurous “Rainy Day, Dream Away,” which leads off the second CD of the collection after Mos Generator‘s “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” finds the Washington-based act showing the roots of their own approach to landmark hooks, as do Mothership with their “Still Raining, Still Dreaming.”
Hearing Earthless with vocals is something of a surprise, and their take on “Come on (Let the Good Times Roll)” (an Earl King cover) not only is true to their Hendrix influence, but is a decided showcase of just how influential they’ve been on the West Coast underground — there are a good number of bands out there striving to sound like Earthless covering Jimi Hendrix — and having Swedish rockers Tunga Moln perform “All Along the Watchtower” in their native language puts an unexpected spin on arguably Electric Ladyland‘s most recognizable piece. All Them Witches are right in their element jamming on “Voodoo Chile,” and Elder do justice to the album’s closer in their “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” capping the tribute with one last highlight to round out the many before it.
There are several acts who reappear on The Best of James Marshall Hendrix, including Wo Fat and Elephant Tree, but as the latter only had the intro “…And the Gods Made Love” to lead off Electric Ladyland [Redux], it seems fair enough. In the case of Texas fuzz forerunners Wo Fat, I’m not at all going to fight with their extended jam on “Gypsy Eyes” as it closes out The Best of James Marshall Hendrix, and their 12:49 run through “Machine Gun” suits just as well. Leading off the companion tribute are Australian blues rockers Child, who give “In from the Storm” due soul and sway, and after Elephant Tree‘s “Manic Depression” and Wo Fat‘s “Machine Gun,” hearing Stubb take on the sweet melodies of “Little Wing” couldn’t be more perfect, especially leading into Rosy Finch‘s stomping “Foxy Lady,” which in turn gives way to Geezer‘s “Little Miss Lover,” coated in wah and right in the New York band’s wheelhouse, even as it gives way to a deconstructing long-form fadeout.
Wo Fat‘s extended “Gypsy Eyes” picks up from that silence with a bonus track-style vibe, but really, both releases feel like a bonus the whole time through. There are some variances in sound and style and some bands are more suited to the source material than others, but the effort that has been put into Electric Ladyland [Redux] and The Best of James Marshall Hendrix and the passion that bleeds from every second of each of these tracks are simply inarguable. It may be preaching to the choir to have heavy rock and psych bands covering Hendrix tracks, but the vibe throughout both of these tribute comps is much more of a genre paying homage to one of its founders who, sadly, didn’t live long enough to see the generation-spanning impact of his work realized. Equally admirable in mission and execution.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Recorded in pieces over a span of three tumultuous years, Tony Reed‘s The Lost Chronicles of Heavy Rock Vol. 1 stands testament both to the influences and the restlessness of its creator. Reed, who in 2011 was still showcasing his love of ’70s heavy with Stone Axe prior to reigniting his once-again main outfit, Mos Generator — now a full-fledged touring act with a revamped lineup — set to covering gems from the early days of heavy rock, and while his take on Pentagram‘s “Forever My Queen” surfaced in video form two years ago, the vast bulk of this stuff will be brand new to those who embark on the free download, which is available now on Reed‘s Bandcamp.
It’s worth noting that Reed probably could’ve called this a Mos Generator release and no one would’ve blinked, even though he plays all the instruments, sings and recorded it all by himself. By keeping it under his own name, it emphasizes the personal nature of these songs and how they’ve affected him as a player and as a writer in his own rock. Sometimes you just gotta jam out a classic riff, and if you’re Tony Reed, sometimes you gotta put together a whole record of them.
Release info and stream follow:
When I get a song stuck in my head it usually doesn’t go away until I cover it. With these songs I tried to be true to the original in playing and production style. It’s an exercise in recording and playing skill and a real challenge. Over the last few years I have been recording covers for what I wanted to be a proper vinyl release but I have decided to give it away for free. Many of these songs have been with me through my life and some have just been introduced to me by other fans of underground rock of the 1970’s. There are, of course, many other songs that I could have done or added to this but I have chosen these because they moved me in some way. Also, this is called “Vol. 1” for a reason.
I would like to thank Henry Vasquez for bringing much of this music to my attention over the years.
cheers TR – August 2015
Tony Reed – All instruments and vocals, Mellotron and Hammond organ. Recorded & Mixed by Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co. 2011 – 2014 Photos by Audrey Reed.
1. Battle (Boomerang ’72) 04:12 2. Ain’t No Lovin’ Left (Fanny Adams ’72) 06:09 3. Fifteen (Highway Robbery ’72) 03:01 4. Queen of Torture (Wishbone Ash ’70) 03:21 5. Nobody Else (Atomic Rooster ’70) 04:45 6. Garden Road (Rush ’74) 02:56 7. Still Born Beauty (Necromandus ’73) 04:04 8. Forever My Queen (Pentagram ’73) 02:21 9. Dier Not a Lover (Bloodrock ’70) 04:09 10. In the Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson ’69) 07:00
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Thief Presents continues to throw down a gauntlet with its festivals. It seemed fair after so thoroughly upping the game earlier this year with Psycho CA that big things would be in store for that fest’s autumnal counterpart, the Day of the Shred, but when you come out of the gate like it’s no big deal and be like, “Oh hey Captain Beyond is playing our fest year whatever,” you’re officially killing it. You’ve got John Garcia, Yawning Man and Ides of Gemini together, which makes me wonder if Zun won’t make an appearance, and Spirit Caravan, Elder and Crowbar, along with a righteous ton of others, up to and including Portugal’s Black Bombaim. It gets a hearty and heartfelt fucking a.
Details from the PR wire:
Day of the Shred Festival to Light Up Southern California November 1
Dia de los Muertos-themed Concert Event to Feature Performances from Captain Beyond, Spirit Caravan, Crowbar, John Garcia, Mondo Generator, Torche and More
This fall, The Day of the Shred Festival returns to Southern California, presenting a diverse lineup of heavy music acts. Billed as an experience “to gather the living and remember the dead”, The Day of the Shred will take place on November 1 (Dia de los Muertos) in Santa Ana, CA. Celebrating monolithic riffs, skateboarding and the souls of the departed, the second annual festival will be an all day, all ages event. Presented by Thief – also the creators of the annual Psycho California Festival — The Day of the Shred will feature headliners Captain Beyond, Spirit Caravan, Crowbar, Torche, John Garcia (of Kyuss fame), Elder, Saviours, Mondo Generator and more.
Tickets for the 2015 Day of the Shred Festival are on sale now at this location. Early bird general admission tickets are $59 (+ tax) and a limited VIP ticket package (which includes express entry, a signed festival screen print, access to the artist lounge, complimentary microbrew and snacks, a limited edition record bag and an exclusive Thief X Obey concert shirt) is also available. What: Day of the Shred Fest 2015 Where: The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA Time: 2PM – 2AM Tickets:Eventbrite.com/e/day-of-the-shred-2015-tickets-17017683349
The just-announced lineup for The Day of the Shred 2015 is as follows:
CAPTAIN BEYOND SPIRIT CARAVAN CROWBAR JOHN GARCIA MONDO GENERATOR TORCHE ELDER SAVIOURS OXBOW FULL OF HELL THE BODY YAWNING MAN KOWLOON WALLED CITY BLACK BOMBAIM FIGHT AMP THOU NIGHT DEMON IDES OF GEMINI MOS GENERATOR GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST WHITE MANNA POOBAH COMMUNION BLACKWITCH PUDDING DUEL Stay tuned in to The Day of the Shred Fest via the Facebook event page and follow THE DAY OF THE SHRED on social media:
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Some shows are a no-brainer, and if NJ riff-winders The Atomic Bitchwax are coming through your town with Mos Generator and/or Against the Grain on the bill, that’s pretty much a night you can mark off on your calendar. They’re out supporting their 2015 LP, Gravitron (review here), on Tee Pee Records, and this will be their most extensive run through the US in some time, after celebrating the new album’s release overseas in Europe.
Mos Generator will be on the tour from Sept. 1-18, and Against the Grain seem to be on the whole run. Dates follow as hoisted from the Bitchwax‘s Thee Facebooks page:
ITS ON!!!!!! THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX w/ MOS GENERATOR AGAINST THE GRAIN
NORTH AMERICAN SUMMER TOUR 2015
New Jersey’s legendary, riff-centric power trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (aka TAB) returns with gargantuan riffs and jaw-dropping psych sonics on its sixth full length LP,Gravitron. Now featuring TWO members of MONSTER MAGNET – bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella – alongside shred-tastic gunslinger Finn Ryan, the band has perfected its unique style of NYC hard rock that High Times appropriately tabbed, “thunder-boogie.”
On Gravitron, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX’s Rush-like riff mazes and carpal-tunnel-inducing riffs are on full display; every note bleeds with urgency. There’s far too much exuberant energy on the record to lazily tag this as “Stoner Rock”; this is high-octane, ’70s-based hard rock infused with stabs of psychedelia and landslides of Tommy Bolin-inspired guitar heroics ! Gravitron is an A-level masterclass in bad ass Rock’N’ Roll and cements the THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX as an undeniable force in today’s heavy music landscape.
8/13/2015 Brooklyn NY The Shop 8/14/2015 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie 8/15/2015 Cambridge MA Middle East 8/16/2015 Montreal QC Foufounes Electriques 8/17/2015 Ottawa ON Mavericks 8/18/2015 Sudbury ON Townhouse 8/19/2015 Toronto ON Bovine 8/20/2015 Rochester NY Montage 8/21/2015 Pittsburgh PA 31st St pub 8/22/2015 Dayton OH Rock Star Arena 8/23/2015 Detroit MI Smalls 8/24/2015 Chicago IL Double Door 8/25/2015 Milwaukee WI Metal Grill 8/26/2015 Kansas City MO Riot Room 8/27/2015 Denver CO Larimer Lounge 8/29/2015 Boise ID Neurolux 9/1/2015 Seattle WA Studio Seven 9/2/2015 Vancouver BC Rickshaw 9/3/2015 Portland OR Panic Room 9/4/2015 Oakland CA Leos 9/5/2015 Los Angeles CA Loaded 9/6/2015 Phoenix AZ Club Red 9/8/2015 Albuquerque NM Launchpad 9/9/2015 Dallas TX Three Links 9/10/2015 Austin TX Red 7 9/11/2015 Houston TX Rudyards 9/12/2015 New Orleans LA Siberia 9/13/2015 Atlanta GA Masquerade 9/16/2015 Richmond VA Strange Matter 9/17/2015 Baltimore MD Metro Gallery 9/18/2015 New York NY Bowery Electric
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
This year has already brought a handful of surprises from long-running Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock trio Mos Generator. Like a new lineup. And touring. And live records. And splits. If you don’t believe me, go back a few posts. Today the hyper-active riffers keep the thread going with the announcement that Tony Reed, founder, songwriter and driving force behind the band, will step back from playing guitar on their upcoming East Coast tour in order to fill-in on drums.
He’ll still be singing, but I’m pretty sure this marks a first for Mos Generator, though Reed‘s history drumming goes back farther than that. Reed and still-relatively-newcomer bassist Sean Booth will be joined by new guitarist Scott Riley for the run — which ends giving them just one day’s break before they leave for a European tour with Elder — as the man himself explains:
2015 has been a very hectic and interesting year for Mos Generator. I have had many firsts since January, including playing acoustic shows and doing the longest U.S. tour of my career. Since the split with the original rhythm section in September of 2014 it’s been a rough road keeping a complete rhythm section intact. I’m not surprised, I knew it would be tough but I never thought I would have to end up playing drums and singing for some dates. As I am writing this I am thinking to myself that this is complete insanity, but, as insane as it sounds I am also looking forward to the challenge. So… May 5 through May 13, rather than cancel the tour I will turn my guitar duties over to my old friend Scott Riley and I will mount the kit with one of those horrible Sammy Hagar microphones and do my damnedest. It’s a good thing we’ve got the steady bass playing of Sean Booth to keep it all together. He’ll be the only one that doesn’t look like a deer in headlights. TR
MOS GENERATOR on tour: with Wounded Giant 6/3 Sioux Falls, SD, Total Drag Records 6/5 Philadelphia, PA, Millcreek Tavern 6/6 Baltimore, MD, The SideBar (Moving The Earth Fest) 6/7 Washington DC, The Pinch 6/9 New Haven, CT, Three Sheets 6/10 Cambridge, MA, TT The Bear’s 6/11 Dover, NH, Dover Brickhouse 6/12 Portland, ME, Empire 6/13 Amityville, NY, Amityville Music Hall (Eye Of The Stoned Goat 5)