Quarterly Review: Mos Generator, Psychic Lemon, Planet of Zeus, Brass Hearse, Mother Turtle, The Legendary Flower Punk, Slow, OKO, Vug, Ultracombo

Posted in Reviews on January 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’d like to hope y’all know the drill by now. It’s the Quarterly Review. We do it (roughly) every quarter. The idea is 10 reviews per day for a Monday to Friday span, running 50 total. I sometimes do more. Sometimes not. Kind of depends on the barrage and how poorly I’ve been doing in general with keeping up on stuff. This time is ‘just’ 50, so there you go. You’ll see some bigger names this week and some stuff that’s come my way of late that I’ve been digging and wanting to check out. It’s a lot of rock, which I like, and a few things I’m writing about basically as a favor to myself because, you know, self-care and all that.

But staring down the barrel of 50 reviews over the next few days has me as apprehensive and how-the-hell-is-this-gonna-happen as ever, so I think I’ll just get to it and jump in. No time to waste.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Mos Generator, Exiles

mos generator exiles

Worth it just for the Sabbath cover? Most definitely. As Mos Generator take on “Air Dance” from Never Say Die as part of the Glory or Death Records LP compilation release, Exiles, they blend the proggy swagger of later-’70s Iommi leads with the baseline acoustic guitar fluidity that makes those final Ozzy-era records so appealing in hindsight. It’s just one of the six reasons to take on Exiles however. The A side comprises three outtakes from 2018’s Shadowlands (review here), and guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed‘s Big Scenic Nowhere bandmate Bob Balch sits in on “Battah,” while a duly manic reworking of Van Halen‘s “Light up the Sky,” the Black Sabbath track and a live version of Rush‘s “Anthem” from 2016 make up side B. It’s a quick listen and it’s Mos Generator. It may be a stopgap on the way to whatever they’re doing next, but if you think about it, so is everything, and that’s no reason not to jump in either for the covers or the originals, both of which are up to the band’s own high standard of output.

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

Glory or Death Records on Bandcamp

 

Psychic Lemon, Freak Mammal

psychic lemon freak mammal

The distorted wails of Andy Briston‘s guitar echo out of Freak Mammal — the five-track/46-minute third LP from London’s Psychic Lemon — like a clarion to the lysergic converted. A call to prayer for those worshiping the nebulous void, not so much kept to earth by Andy Hibberd‘s bass and Martin Law‘s drums as given a solidified course toward the infinite far out. Of course centerpiece “Afrotropic Bomb” digs into some Ethiopian groove — that particular shuffling mania — and I won’t take away from the lower buzz of “Free Electron Collective” or the tense hi-hat cutting through all that tonal wash or the ultra-spaced blowout that caps six-minute finale “White Light,” but give me the self-aware mellower jaunt that is the 13-minute second track “Seeds of Tranquility” any day, following opener “Dark Matter” as it does with what would be a blissful drift but for the exciting rhythmic work taking place beneath the peaceful guitar, and the later synthesized voices providing a choral melody that seems all the more playfully grandiose, befitting the notion of Freak Mammal as a ceremony or at very least some kind of lost ritual. Someday they’ll dig up the right pyramid and call the aliens back. Until then, Psychic Lemon let us imagine what might happen after they return.

Psychic Lemon on Thee Facebooks

Drone Rock Records website

 

Planet of Zeus, Faith in Physics

PLANET OF ZEUS FAITH IN PHYSICS

There’s a context of social commentary to Planet of ZeusFaith in Physics that makes one wonder if perhaps the title doesn’t refer to gravity in terms of what-goes-up-must-come-down as it might apply to class hierarchy. The mighty, ready to fall, and so on. Songs like the post-Clutch fuzz roller “Man vs. God” and “Revolution Cookbook” (video premiere here) would seem to support that idea, but one way or the other, as the later “Let Them Burn” digs into a hook that reminds of Killing Joke and the dense bass of eight-minute closer “King of the Circus” provides due atmospheric madness for our times, there’s a sense of grander statement happening across the album. The Athens-based outfit make a centerpiece of the starts and stops in “All These Happy People” and remind that whatever the message, the medium remains top quality heavy rock and roll songcraft, which is something they’ve become all the more reliable to deliver. The more pointed perspective than they showed on 2016’s Loyal to the Pack suits them, but it’s the nuance of electronics and arrangements of vocals and guitar on cuts like “The Great Liar” that carry them through here. If you believe in gravity, Planet of Zeus have plenty on offer.

Planet of Zeus on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Brass Hearse, Oneiric Afterlife

brass hearse oneiric afterlife

Experimentalist keyboard-laced psychedelic goth your thing? Well, of course it is. You’re in luck then as Brass Hearse — an offshoot of once madly prolific Boston outfit Ice Dragon — unveil three new songs (plus an intro) with the Oneiric Afterlife and in 10 minutes work to unravel about 30 years of genre convention while still tying their material to memorable hooks. “Bleed Neon,” “Indigo Dust” and “Only Forever” seem simple on the surface, and none of them touch four minutes long, let alone “A Gesture to Make a Stop,” the 26-second introduction, but their refusal of stylistic constraint is as palpable as it is admirable, with a blend of folk guitar and dark-dance-party keys and percussive insistence on “Bleed Neon” and a ’60s Halloweeny rock organ line in “Only Forever” that’s complemented by low-end fuzz and a chorus that would rightly embarrass Ghost if they heard it. In comparison, “Indigo Dust” is serene in its presentation, but even there is a depth of arrangement of keys, guitar, bass and drums, and the skill tying it all together as a cohesive sound is not to be understated. A quick listen with a lot to unpack, it’s not going to be everyone’s thing, but those who get it will be hit hard and rightly so.

Brass Hearse on Thee Facebooks

Brass Hearse on Bandcamp

 

Mother Turtle, Three Sides to Every Story

mother turtle three sides to every story

The first of three tracks on Greek progwinders Mother Turtle‘s fourth LP, Three Sides to Every Story, “Zigu Zigu,” would seem to cap with a message of congratulations: “You’ve listened to three musicians indulging themselves with some kind of weird instrumental music.” It then goes on to question its own instrumentalism, because it has the words presently being spoken, continuing in this manner until a long fadeout of guitar leads to the funky start of the 15-minute-long “Notwatch.” Good fun, in other words. Mother Turtle maybe aren’t so weird as they think they are, but they are duly adventurous and obviously joyful in their undertaking, bringing chants in over drifting guitar and synth swirl in “Notwatch” before building to a crescendo of rock guitar and organ, ultimately dominated by a solo as it would almost have to be, before intertwining piano lines in 16:46 closer “A Christmas Postcard from Kim” lead to further shenanigans, vocal experimentation, plays on metal, holiday shimmer, and a fade into the close. At 38 minutes, Three Sides to Every Story doesn’t at all overstay its welcome, but neither is it an exercise looking for audience engagement in the traditional sense. Rather, it resonates its glee through its offbeat sensibility and thus works on its own level to craft a hook. One can’t help but smile while listening to the fun being had.

Mother Turtle on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

 

The Legendary Flower Punk, Wabi Wu

The Legendary Flower Punk Wabi Wu

It is something to consider, perhaps as you dive into the nine-minute “Prince Mojito” on The Legendary Flower Punk‘s Wabi Wu, that the band started as a psych-folk solo-project. Currently working as a core trio plus a range of guests, the Russian troupe make their debut on Tonzonen with the brazenly prog seven-tracker, totaling just a 44-minute run but with a range that would seem to be much broader. Alternately jazzy and synth-laden, technically intricate but never overly showy, pieces like the bass-led “Azulejo” and the penultimate “Trance Fusion På Ryska” present a meeting of the minds with founding guitarist Kamille Sharapodinov at the center of most compositions, he and bassist Mike Lopakov and drummer Nick Kunavin digging into nothing’s-off-limits textures from fusion onward through New Wave and dub. The abiding rule followed seems to be whatever moves the band about a given track is what they roll with, and though The Legendary Flower Punk has evolved well beyond its origins, there’s still a bit of flower and still a bit of punk amid all the legends being made. Good luck keeping up with it.

The Legendary Flower Punk on Bandcamp

Tonzonen Records website

 

Slow, VI – Dantalion

Slow VI Dantalion

With the follow-up to 2018’s V – Oceans (review here), Belgian duo Slow rattle off another 78 minutes of utterly consuming, crushing, atmospheric and melancholic funeral doom like it’s absolutely nothing. Well, not like it’s nothing — more like it’s a weight on their very soul — but even so. Issued through Aural Music, VI – Dantlion brings the two-piece of guitarist/vocalist/drummer Déhà and bassist/lyricist Lore B. once again into the grueling, megalithic churn of self-inflicted riff-punishment that’s so encompassing, so dark, so deep and so dramatic it almost can’t help but also be beautiful. To wit, second track “Lueur” is a 17-minute downward journey into ambient brutalism, yet as it moves toward the midsection one can still hear melodic elements of keyboard and orchestral sounds peaking through. There is letup in the lush finale “Elégie,” but to get there, you have to make your way through “Incendiaire,” which is possibly the most extreme movement of the seven inclusions. Though frankly, after a while, you’re buried so far down by Slow‘s glorious miseries that it’s hard to tell. The world needs this band. They are what humanity would sound like if it was ever honest with itself.

Slow on Thee Facebooks

Aural Music on Bandcamp

 

OKO, Haze

oko haze

Adelaide, Australia, newcomers OKO present their debut EP in the form of Haze, a 14:44 single-song outing that sees the instrumental three-piece of guitarist Nick Nancarrow, bassist Tyson Ruch and drummer Ash Matthews tap into organic heavy psych vibes while working cross-planet with Justin Pizzoferrato (known for his work with Elder, among others) on the mix and master. The resulting one-tracker has a clarity in its drum sound and clean feel that one suspects might speak of more progressive intentions on the part of OKO in the longer term, but as they are here they have a sense of tonal warmth that serves them well across the unpretentious span of “Haze” itself, the winding riff inevitably bringing to mind some of Colour Haze‘s jammier work but still managing to find its own direction. I hear no reason OKO can’t do the same, regardless of the influences they’re working under in terms of sound. Further, the longform modus suits them, and while future work will inherently develop some variety in general approach, the natural exploration they undertake on this first outing easily holds attention for its span and is fluid enough that, had they wanted, they could have pushed it further.

OKO on Thee Facebooks

OKO website

 

Vug, Onyx

vug onyx

Vug are not the first European heavy rock band to blend vintage methods with modern production. They’re not the first band to take classic swagger and drum urgency and meld it with a pervasive sense of vocal soul. I’m not sure I’d tell them that though, because frankly, they’re doing pretty well with it. At its strongest, their Tonzonen-released sophomore outing, Onyx, recalls Thin Lizzy via, yes, Graveyard, but there’s enough clarity of intention behind the work to make it plain they know where they’re coming from. Such was the case as well with their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), and though they’ve had some lineup turnover since that first offering, the self-produced four-piece bring a character to their material on songs like “Tired Of” and the penultimate boogier “Inferno” before closing with the acoustic “Todbringer” — a mirror of side A’s “On My Own” — that they carry the classic-style 39-minute long-player off without a hitch, seeming to prep the heavy ’10s for a journey into a new decade.

Vug on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution webstore

 

Ultracombo, Season 1

Ultracombo Season 1

As the title hints, the Season 1 EP is the debut from Italy’s Ultracombo, and with it, the five-piece of vocalist Alessio Guarda, guitarists Alberto Biasin and Giordano Tasson, bassist Giordano Pajarin and drummer Flavio Gola work quickly to build the forward momentum that brings them front-to-back through the 23-minute five-track release. “Flusso” and opener “The King” feel particularly drawn from an earlier Truckfighters influence, but Guarda‘s vocals are a distinguishing factor amidst all that ensuing fuzz and straight-ahead drive, and in “Sparatutto” and the closer “Il Momento in Cui Non Penso,” they seem to strip their approach to its most basic aspects and bring together the tonal thickness and melodicism that’s been at root in their sound overall. The subtlety, such as it is, is to be found in their songwriting, which results in tracks that transcend language barriers through sheer catchiness. That bodes better for them on subsequent outings better than a wall o’ fuzz ever could, though of course that doesn’t hurt them either, especially their first time out.

Ultracombo on Thee Facebooks

Ultracombo on Bandcamp

 

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Mos Generator, Spontaneous Combustions: All in a Day’s Work

Posted in Reviews on November 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator Spontaneous Combustions

Issued just a month after the Exiles collection of outtakes and covers, the four-song, Kozmik Artifactz-released Spontaneous Combustions LP is a sort of conceptual one-off from Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers Mos Generator. The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — is that the Tony Reed-led three-piece had an opportunity to get together and rehearse and record at a rental house before new tenants moved in and Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett began a US tour the following day. One assumes they started fairly early in the morning. Even so, for a group whose material is historically so structured and well put-together, it hardly seems like the the ideal circumstance for making an album. And one assumes that is precisely why they did it in such a manner.

The title Spontaneous Combustions, then, refers to the tracks themselves as being the result of improvisational jams; the trio setting up a few mics and hitting it with an eight-track recorder rolling to capture whatever came out. Mos Generator stepped back from the road this year, but between 2013 and 2018, they toured heavily with the Reed/Booth/Garrett lineup, and thereby developed the sort of chemistry that might, say, allow them to make an album in a single day’s time. But though the inclusions are plenty jammy and each one hovers somewhere around 10 minutes long — the exception is second track “Things to Unremember,” at 9:14 — the tracks aren’t just jams in the sense of the raw instrumentalist exploration proffered by some outfits. While opener “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2)” speaks to the urgency of its making in a kind of manic guitar line and sans-vocal approach, “Things to Unremember” and especially the subsequent “Who Goes There?” have vocals over top, and layered vocals in the case of the latter, meaning that at some point after the initial instrumental bed was laid down — even if it was on the same day — it was further developed.

Mos Generator, and Reed particularly, almost can’t help but write songs. The rule under which he worked was that things could be added to the basic track but not removed or changed, and indeed, “Who Goes There?” was an earlier piece they finished as a part of the session. So maybe Spontaneous Combustions-plus? However one wants to draw that line of distinction, the fact remains that one of American heavy rock’s most powerful power trios took a bold step in making a record like this, and after nearly two decades mostly-together in one form or another, the simple fact that they would push themselves to try something new at all is testament to the admirable nature of their creativity. The impulse — conceptual and in terms of the execution in these songs — bears fruit, whether it’s in the long, quiet stretch that opens “Who Goes There?” or the keyboard-added smooth jam at the beginning of closer “Age Zero,” also the longest song at 10:34.

And sure, one can hear a hiccup here and there on a probably-too-close inspection. Maybe that’s a hesitation because Garrett is wondering if there’s a change coming. Maybe that’s Reed pulling a bum note. Whatever it is, it’s to Spontaneous Combustions‘ credit that it’s left in. That might be the biggest departure Mos Generator make here, since while they’ve certainly done warts-and-all live releases in the past — the past year, that is — recent studio outings like 2018’s Shadowlands (review here), 2016’s Abyssinia (review here) and 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) have been clean and increasingly progressive affairs. “Who Goes There?” has shades of that, certainly, but the first impression with “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2)” and the last impression with “Age Zero” that Spontaneous Combustions makes is one of taking a far more open and naturalist approach. While I don’t doubt that time felt like a crunch with one day to work on all the material and get a usable take, etc., it’s just as likely it was a relief to record live, since once the song was down, that was it. The rules were set, and they required that the band be free from hammering out all the rougher spots in the material. It’s an intense process, but it throws open a range of possibilities as well.

mos generator spontaneous combustions

To be sure, the three-piece take advantage. “Things to Unremember” moves from its shreddy march into a more drifting verse, bluesy licks from Reed and a steady bass from Booth seemingly led by the plodding drums of Garrett. An Iommic riff emerges — as it would almost have to given the jam setting and the tempo — and “Things” threatens to come apart just before six and a half minutes in, but Reed‘s solo holds its course and the trio builds back up around it, eventually finishing with a last rendition of the semi-hook to give just a hint of how organically a sense of structure comes to Mos Generator. The song, as an idea and ideal, is always there. Even with just a matter of hours to put together an album. Why would they even try to get away from it?

In that way, “Who Goes There?” is an emphatic highlight, even if something of an outlier on Spontaneous Combustions for having been to some degree prior-composed. One can quibble with that if so inclined — as a fan of the band, I tend to think Mos Generator have earned the trust that they know what’s best for their own albums — but in its hypnotic beginning, emergent depth of groove and absolute standout melody it brings together the best of their more progressive recent work with this offering’s sonic reach, essentially tying the two sides together before “Age Zero” bookends with another instrumental push, mellower on the whole than that of “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2),” which maybe toys subconsciously with some Earthless influence, but still sweeping up at the end to finish in raucous fashion.

Time has proven Mos Generator can go where they please when they please and still retain their identity. They’ve done hardcore punk, they’ve done psychedelia, they’ve done prog, and they’ve done a whole lot of heavy rock and roll. It has come to a point where it’s almost shocking to think of them as still being a relatively straightforward act, but it’s always the songcraft that comes through no matter how it’s being put to use. In putting that to the side even somewhat, Spontaneous Combustions feels particularly brave on the part of ReedBooth and Garrett, but that’s nothing new for them either, and they demonstrate not only the roots of their process here, but the clarity of vision that underscores their material even at its foundations. I won’t attempt to predict what they might do next — their every-two-years pace for a proper studio release has one due in 2020, if they intend to hold to it — but I do hope this isn’t the last time Mos Generator take on a project like this. The possibilities are as vast as they want them to be.

Mos Generator, “Shadowlands” live in Cleveland, OH, 2018

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

Mos Generator on Instagram

Mos Generator on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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Mos Generator to Release Exiles Collection of Lost Tracks and Covers

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator glory or death

You know my feelings on Mos Generator: the more the merrier. Fortunately, the band generally seems to work under this ethic as well. There’s been a fair amount of news from the Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers over the last couple months as they’ve played limited regional live shows but announced releases like the Spontaneous Combustions jam collection and the redux The Late Great Planet Earth Suite, following up on the bootleg-ish live record Night of the Lords earlier this year. Add to that list Exiles, due out at the end of this month through Glory or Death Records with preorders up now. The two-sided offering brings together tracks recorded during the sessions for Mos Generator‘s 2018 studio LP, Shadowlands (review here), with various covers of Van Halen, Rush and Black Sabbath on side B.

Cool stuff all around. The Sabbath cover — “Air Dance,” from Never Say Die — has been posted by the band before, and you can hear it below. I hate to say it, but would it be too much to ask Mos Generator to cover that whole album? I mean, I know that might be a lot of time, but they’ve done plenty of Sabbath tunes over the years any, as guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed notes below, and “Air Dance” really, really fits with their sound. I’d love to hear them do that entire record. And with the rate at which Mos does stuff these days, figure maybe they’d be up for it, just to keep busy.

I’ll look for an announcement of that soon (not really, but it would be cool). In the meantime, here’s preorder info for Exiles:

Mos Generator – Exiles

Side A of this release is a collection of outtakes from our last album Shadowlands. “Twelve Psychics” which was pulled from Shadowlands at the eleventh hour, and “Battah”, show a more metal side to our writing which is usually represented by at least one song on each of our albums. The third track on side A is an alternate version of a song from Shadowlands called Woman Song. “The Lady Vanishes” is an extended (and at times drastically different) version of the track that made it on the album. I think I prefer this version and I’m not sure why I put the edit on the final tracklisting for Shadowlands.

Side B is comprised of three covers we recorded over the last few years. The first is a song from Van Halen II. This is my favorite VH song and I’m very happy with how it came out. Next up is “Air Dance” by Black Sabbath. I really enjoy the Never Say Die album and although it doesn’t fall into the classic Sab album lineup, it has a lot to offer as a unique and diverse album. We’ve done a lot of Sabbath covers over the years and this was by far the most challenging. Last on side B is “Anthem” by Rush. Sometimes I think Rush get overlooked as being a powerhouse heavy rock band and I think Anthem is the proof. This was from our first live performance of it from Vancouver BC 2016.
– Reed, August 2019

Mos Generator – Exiles
Program One:
Twelve Psychics
Battah
The Lady Vanishes

Program Two:
Light Up The Sky (Van Halen)
Air Dance (Black Sabbath)
Anthem (Rush)

PreOrders are open now with official release set as October 28th.

You can secure your copy at Glory or Death Records Web Store;
gloryordeathrecords.bigcartel.com

Mos Generator “Exiles”

Side A
1. Twelve Psychics 03:49
2. Battah (Featuring Bob Balch of Fu Manchu) 03:42
3. The Lady Vanishes 05:05

Side B
4. Light up the Sky (Van Halen Cover) 03:09
5. Air Dance (Black Sabbath Cover) 05:19
6. Anthem (Rush Cover) 04:31

Available in 4 options;

Test Press;
12” Test Press “Exiles”

Die Hard Version;
Metallic Mix Cherry Bomb 12″ Vinyl
2′ x 3′ Mos G/Glory or Death Tapestry
(Photo attached)
Mega Mos G/Glory or Death Sticker Pack
(Photo attached *CD not included)
Digital Download

Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl
Random Stickers
Digital Download

Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl
Digital Download

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: guitar, vocals
Jono Garrett: drums
Sean Booth: bass

http://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/glory_or_death_records/
https://gloryordeathrecords.bandcamp.com
https://gloryordeathrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.gloryordeathrecords.com/

Mos Generator, “Air Dance” (Black Sabbath cover)

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Mos Generator Release Remastered The Late Great Planet Earth Suite; Live Shows This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Heavy rockers who wear that designation like the badge of honor that it is Mos Generator have reissued their 2005 album The Late Great Planet Earth in remastered and, as they put it, “newly restored” form. I wasn’t sure what that means in this context, but founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed was kind enough to offer some clarification, which you’ll see below. Billed as The Late Great Planet Earth Suite: Parts I-XII, the new version all the more highlights the flow and conceptual narrative at the heart of the original. It’s out now digital through Bandcamp with eventual hope of doing it up as a deluxe 3LP/2CD/DVD boxed set that, frankly, kind of seems like it would rule. Party on, Mos Generator. Make that shit happen.

Though the Port Orchard trio have had a couple offerings out new and archival in 2019 as they will in any given year these days, they’ve stepped back touring considerably from what they were doing since about 2014 when founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed revamped the lineup with an eye specifically toward taking the band on the road. Well, their four shows slated for 2019 start on Oct. 10 and go through Oct. 13, which just happens to be this week/weekend. They’re playing with Teepee Creeper, Clutch and Red Fang, among others, and will no doubt have more news of one kind or another soon.

Here’s what’s up until then:

mos generator shows

Mos Generator “The Late Great Planet Earth Suite parts 1-12” is a newly restored and remastered version of our second album, first released on vinyl only in October 2005. This digital version features the 12 part 43 minute suite as one track rather than 12 movements broken up into separate tracks thus giving the listener the full experience as originally intended.

Says Tony, “The restored part is about being able to separate all 12 movements, master each song separately and then re-assemble it as one long song. I thought I had lost all of the songs as stand alone tracks so every pressing (on 3 different labels) over the years has been from the same source that I wasn’t completely happy with. I’m a little more satisfied now.”

The Late Great Planet Earth Suite:
I. On the Eve (including: The Midnight Sun)
II: Crematorium
III: Six Billion People Dead
IV: Opium Skies
V: The Myopic
VI: Closed Casket
VII: Fall of Megiddo
VIII: Zero to Infinity
IX: The Late Great Planet Earth
X: Golden Chariots
XI: Exit the Atomic Age
XII: The World Set Free

This is part of a continuing effort to do a super deluxe release of this album. Our hope is for a set containing 3 Lps, 2 Cds, 1 DVD, extended download, 12″x12″ booklet and an assortment of other memorabilia from the 2004-2005 era.

Mos Generator was:
Tony Reed: Guitar/Vocals/Keyboards
Shawn Johnson: Drums
Scooter Haslip: Bass

We’re only playing 4 shows this year. Here they are.

10/10 Little Devil’s – Port Angeles WA (w/ Teepee Creeper)
10/11 Manette Saloon – Bremerton WA (w/ Thylacine – Corrosive Company)
10/12 Midtown Bend – Bend OR (w/ Clutch – Red Fang)
10/13 McDonald Theater – Eugene OR (w/ Clutch – Red Fang)

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: guitar, vocals
Jono Garrett: drums
Sean Booth: bass

http://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/

Mos Generator, The Late Great Planet Earth Suite: Parts I-XII (2019)

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Mos Generator Announce Spontaneous Combustions Release Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Comprised of four songs pressed up under the banner of Kozmik Artifactz, the next Mos Generator LP will be a collection of jams titled Spontaneous Combustions. It’s the band’s second outing of 2019 behind the Night of the Lords live album (discussed here) and it follows their 2018 studio offering, Shadowlands (review here), which likewise found the Tony Reed-fronted trio pushing into new avenues of progressive expression. That’s kind of Mos Generator‘s thing at this point, and while the core of the band remains in their foundation of songwriting, they’ve particularly over the last few years taken on a willingness to go places they haven’t before. It suits them.

This release was initially discussed here last month in an interview with Reed, and as you can see in that piece, it’s far from the only thing going on in that camp.

Still, here are the details as posted on thee social medias:

mos generator spontaneous combustions

We have a new album coming out on Kozmik Artifactz later this year. Here’s a few words about it and a work in progress mock up of the cover.

Mos Generator “Spontaneous Combustions”.

Production notes:
With a working title of “rental jams”, the idea to do these recordings came from the fact that long time tenants had moved out of our rental house and it was empty for a while before the next ones would move in. We had a one day window to work with, which meant we had to record as much improvised material as possible and also have a proper rehearsal to prepare for the U.S. tour that was starting the next day. To make things as easy as possible, I recorded using only an eight track machine with a very minimal microphone setup. All music had to be captured live with mistakes and all. I would be able to add additional instruments to what we did but would not be able to take away anything that was recorded live. Three of the four songs recorded that day were written at the moment they were recorded. “Who Goes There” was conceived and partially recorded about a year earlier and finished up during these sessions. Although we use this technique to do demos, we have never made a complete record of freeform jams.

Reed – August 2019

http://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
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Mos Generator, Night of the Lords (2019)

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Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed of Mos Generator

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

tony reed

The mantle of being the hardest working person in show business has been worn by many over the last century-plus, perhaps most notably James Brown, but if we’re talking about heavy rock and roll, Port Orchard, Washington’s Tony Reed makes a strong case for himself. The frontman of the long-running Mos Generator is also near ubiquitous in his studio work on the production side, recording, mixing and mastering bands far and wide. He’s taking part alongside Bob Balch of Fu Manchu and Gary Arce of Yawning Man in the reincarnated Big Scenic Nowhere, and he’s just recorded the first Saint Vitus LP to feature Scott Reagers in over two decades. In August, he’ll tour for the second time in Europe playing bass for Melbourne’s Seedy Jeezus, whom he’s also recorded.

Oh, and for having what he calls a “mellow year,” Mos Generator have already released a hand-assembled live album through Devil’s Child Records and have a collection of studio jams on the way through Kozmik Artifactz. Reed is also learning to cut his own records, so expect much more to come. Like maybe that country rock project he’s got, Hot Spring Water! They’d be perfect for a cut 12″. He’s also been kicking around doing some reunion shows with Twelve Thirty Dreamtime, his band before Mos.

Clearly the man cannot be stopped.

Reed sent a raven recently with details on all of the above and a bunch more and, frankly, it was staggering. I didn’t even know where to start, but we went back and forth and what made the most sense to me was to get an interview together — as always, it took me forever to actually write out the questions — and give him the chance to talk about what’s going on with each of these things, say what he can say at this point and roll like that. With so much going on, some he can talk about and some he can’t, it was really the only way. Expect more news on a lot of this stuff as it continues to develop — the Big Scenic Nowhere LP, the Mos Generator jams release, record cutting, etc. — but the point is that, in all seriousness and all sincerity, I find Reed‘s singular level of passion to be deeply inspiring. He is relentlessly creative, and he doesn’t know how else to be. That kind of person is rare and with the consistent level of his output across such a wide variety of contexts, it’s only all the more impressive.

He talks about Mos Generator touring Australia with The Atomic Bitchwax early next year. I look forward to inviting myself on that run. I’d write a whole book about it.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed

First up, what’s up with Mos Generator for the rest of this year?

It’s been a pretty mellow year for the band. We’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last four years and thought we would kick back for a bit. It looks like we will only play four shows this year. Two of them are with Red Fang and Clutch so we will be able to reach a new audience with the touring. Early 2020 we will be going over to Australia to tour with The Atomic Bitchwax. We’ve been out with them before so that was great news to hear we would be doing our first Aus tour with them.

In May Devil’s Child Records released a live album called Night of the Lords recorded in Manchester, England, in 2017 and later this year, Kozmik Artifactz out of Germany will release an album of freeform jams called Spontaneous Combustions. I just submitted the masters so hopefully it will be out by Fall. Like The Firmament and Lies of Liberty, Spontaneous Combustions is very different from our usual studio albums. I really enjoy adding new textures to the band and although we usually do a freeform jam section in our live shows, this is a whole album of them. All recorded in a six-hour time period.

You’re involved with Bob Balch and Gary Arce’s Big Scenic Nowhere project. You toured with Fu Manchu of course, and Gary is Gary, but how did you end up getting involved there, and will you continue to be a member of that band?

Bob contacted me to work on a song with him and I’m pretty sure it was a mix of touring with Fu Manchu and my contributions to his site PlayThisRiff that gave him the idea to contact me. We got along well on the road and we both work very hard at our craft.

After I finished the first song he just started sending more to see if I was inspired. I ended up doing vocals on quite a bit of the songs across the EP and the full-length. I also added Mellotron and synths to a few songs. A song I wrote has me on drums/vocals, Bob on guitar and my son Kylen on bass. How cool is that?

Bob, Gary and I have been talking about being the core lineup and continue to have guests come in. There are some really cool musicians playing on this that I am totally honored to be associated with. I’ve also started to call on people I know and respect to participate and everybody has been really cool. Musically there doesn’t seem to be any boundaries and that is great.

You’re also playing bass on tour again with Seedy Jeezus in Europe. How was that experience last time and how does being in the band differ from recording them?

I really enjoy hanging out with Lex and Mark. They know each other so well. They will have these massive blowup arguments that you feel might end the tour and right at its zenith, then it will be like ,“so where are we gonna eat mate?” like nothing ever happened. Total entertainment. I’ve got some great audio and video clips on my phone.

After recording two albums with them and doing the tour last year I feel like I’m part of the band. It was like that from the first time we met. Easy to get along with. I’ll be back over there to record the next Seedy full-length right before the Mos boys fly over for the tour.

You recorded Saint Vitus’ new self-titled album. What was it like having them in the studio again? Did you get Dave Chandler to put any mids in his guitar this time?

They were less prepared this time but everybody really worked to make a great album that ended having classic Vitus elements and some new textures. Henry and Pat both contributed to the writing so that gave the album some diversity while still sitting in the spot the fans are used to. Also, Reagers is a stud. Great vocalist and one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet. Always positive and professional without being too serious. Chandler kept his classic EQ settings. :)

Tell me about the record cutting project.

Well… my buddy Jeremy Deede brought up the idea of buying a record lathe. We found a guy in Germany that builds them so we contacted him and he told us he won’t sell it to us if we don’t take the class so I flew over to Germany a few weeks ago and took the 15-hour one day crash course in record cutting. I did get to bring home my first few attempts at it and they sounded better than I thought they would. We should have the machine and a whole bunch of blanks next week and I’ll start to get grip on making some nice cuts. After I get comfortable with it we are going to launch a site where people can have one-off records cut. Needless to say I’ll be making records of everything I ever wanted on vinyl. Exciting stuff!!!

What keeps you going, Tony? Every year you seem to have your hand in so much and so much going on. What is it that lets you do that? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff happening at any given time?

I discovered that I had musical ability when I was around 12 and ever since then I pretty much haven’t stopped. I’ve written and recorded more music than I can even remember. I’ve been going through 40 years of tapes and other recorded media that I am cataloging and saving and I’m finding so much music I forgot I even made. From ideas recorded on a boombox in 1985 to complete songs from even just a few years ago. When I think about how much time I’ve spent next to some kind of recording device with a guitar in my hand or behind a drum kit it’s staggering. I have so many musical endeavors going on (including my job) that it is sometimes hard to finish stuff. My dry erase board in the studio always has scribblings all over it. I like it that way. Leaving a legacy has always been important to me and that along with not knowing, and not wanting to know, anything else in life is what keeps me going. I’ve always been very prolific. I often wonder if that will ever disappear.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I’m putting a lot of time into a project called Hot Spring Water. It’s a country rock project in the style of early ’70s artists like Leon Russell, Graham Nash and Neil Young. Mykey and Mike were the rhythm section from Stone Axe and we actually started this project in 2011. A few months ago we added Bo Mcconaghie on guitar with me and started rehearsing for shows. We’ve played two shows and they have been really fun. It’s so much different than Mos Generator. Bo and I use six watt Fender Champ amplifiers so we have a six watt ceiling for live volume. It’s great! people can enjoy the show without getting their ears blasted. It’s also challenging because playing that clean and quite means your can hear every mistake. Challenges are good.

Tony Reed, Assembling Night of the Lords

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Mos Generator Announce Night of the Lords Bootleg-Style Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

I love bootlegs. I really do. I’ve got a bunch of old bootleg CDs and a couple LPs that I absolutely think of as treasure. Traditionally, bootlegs pretty much rip off the artist in question, but there’s no doubt that there are some bootlegs out there — looking at you, HendrixBeatles, etc. — that are as classic as any proper studio album. Black Sabbath at Asbury Park 1975? Shit, it’s the best live record they never bothered to release.

Given that Mos Generator do so much with a classic heavy rock influence, it makes sense they’d be the first in a new series of bootleg-style outings from Devil’s Child Records. Legally speaking, it all seems to be on the up and up — Tony Reed mixed and mastered, so it ought to be — which is nice, but the numbers available are limited and it’s a live recording from their UK tour in 2017, so maybe a fan-piece, but screw it, I’m a fan. Check out “Breaker” streaming at the bottom of this post, to get a sample of what it’s all about.

Info from the PR wire:

mos generator night of the lords

MOS GENERATOR New Live Album ‘NIGHT OF THE LORDS’ (Manchester UK, October 4th 2017) via DEVIL’S CHILD RECORDS On May 3rd

Port Orchard, Washington’s MOS GENERATOR spent most of 2016 and 2017 on tour supporting their ‘Abyssinia’ album. During a special night on the tail end of the tour, an entire set was recorded at Rebellion, in Manchester England on October 4th, 2017.

Mixed and mastered at his HeavyHead Recording Company in January 2019, Tony Reed, guitarist and vocalist for MOS GENERATOR, tells the tale:

“Many months after the European leg of the Abyssinia Tour was over, I was cleaning out my guitar case and found a flash drive that I had forgotten about. Upon inspection, I realized it was a complete multi-tracked live performance, date and city unknown. After listening to some of the banter in between songs, I figured out that it was from Manchester, England. I distinctly remembered that show, because we played a Mahavishnu Orchestra/King Crimson medley that night and I think we only ever played it live three or four times.

That wasn’t the only interesting addition to the set list that night – “Easy Evil” was also a rarity in the set, along with the opener “Strangest Times.” “Shadowlands” (title track of the future 2018 album) was performed at the show as well, and we rarely played new songs before they were recorded and released. All in all, it was a blazing set that focused mainly on songs from ‘Abyssinia’, but also included a well-rounded collection of songs from our previous albums.

The album title is a play on “Day of the Lords”, a song by the band Joy Division from Manchester, England. The cover of this official “bootleg” release is a tribute to many of the unofficial records I have from the 70s on infamous labels like Trademark of Quality, The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label (TAKRL), and Wizardo. In the early days of bootleg vinyl, they just glued a photo copied piece of paper on a white jacket and called it good. The inspiration for this layout came from a David Bowie bootleg called “His Master’s Voice”, one of the first bootlegs I ever owned.

Most of the time when I (rarely) listen back to live recordings of the band, I find myself remembering our performance as being better in my head than it actually was. That is not the case with this show. The set list, energy, performance and the right amount of risk-taking make this a show we are excited is getting released.” – TR

‘Night Of The Lords’ Tracklist:

Side One:
Strangest Times
Lonely One Kenobi
Shadowlands
Easy Evil
There’s No Return From Nowhere
Dance of Maya / Red

Side Two:
Breaker
On The Eve
Catspaw
Step Up/Jam
Electric Mountain Majesty

Mos Generator’s ‘Night Of The Lords’ live album, the first release in the Devil’s Child Records ‘Bootleg Series’, was created in true bootleg fashion. Pure rock music captured in a live recording, issued in a limited run of 100 copies on black vinyl. Each record is hand-numbered with either a yellow or blue photo cover on primarily a hand-assembled package. A few test presses will also be available on release date. There are no pre-orders.

‘Night Of The Lords’ will be available on May 3, 2019, from Devil’s Child Records: https://devilschildrecords.bigcartel.com/

A few words from Rachel Williams, Overlord at Devil’s Child Records:

“Devil’s Child Records is elated to present the first record in our new ‘Bootleg Series’, Mos Generator, ‘Night of the Lords’. Bootleg records were created as a rebellious act of defiance all for the love of music. This series is all about our love of music, and pays a unique homage to the bootleg recordings from the 1970’s.

We are excited to be working with Mos Generator again for this release, with special thanks to Tony Reed in helping shape an idea into a reality for the Devil’s Child Bootleg Series.”

MOS GENERATOR are:
Sean Booth – Bass
Tony Reed – Guitar, Vocals, Other Instruments
Jono Garrett – Drums

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Mos Generator, “Breaker” from Night of the Lords (2019)

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Mos Generator Announce Sept./Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Got a record, got a tour. Washington-based heavy rockers Mos Generator continue their road-dogging ways in support of their 2018 album, Shadowlands (review here). Issued through Listenable Records, its take on the band’s trademark straightforward, classic style leans a little bit darker and a little bit more progressive than it has in the past, but Mos Generator are still Mos Generator beneath it all, and with stops along the way at Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh and Doom and Stoned in Indianapolis, this run of headlining dates should be all the more of a success. These shows run into October and I can’t help but wonder if they might be headed back to Europe early next year sometime, either for a winter tour or maybe Spring fests? They seem to get around so much these days it’s hard to keep track of where they’ve been and where they’re headed next.

The answer to that question, incidentally, is everywhere.

From the PR wire:

mos generator tour

MOS GENERATOR: Heavy Rock Power Trio Confirms US/Canadian Headlining Tour In Support Of Shadowlands Full-Length

Washington-based power trio MOS GENERATOR will bring their heavy riffing to stages this fall on a US/Canadian headlining tour. Set to commence September 21st in Port Angeles, Washington and run through nearly two-dozen venues upon its conclusion October 13th in Portland, Oregon, the journey includes stops at Descendants Of Crom Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as Doomed & Stoned Fest in Indianapolis, Indiana. The latest tour follows the band’s month-long US trek earlier this year which included sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu as well as an appearance at the 2018 edition of Hellfest in Clisson, France. See all confirmed dates below.

Comments MOS GENERATOR founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, “This will be our first time out on the road with the new album Shadowlands at the merch table. We were hoping to have them on the Road Rats tour with Fu Manchu in May but that didn’t happen, so we’ll make it up to you here and make sure to bring plenty. We will be playing a large majority of the new material as well and that’s a treat for us. This is also our first tour across Canada. There are some hard drives, but we are excited to get to those territories.

MOS GENERATOR released their Shadowlands full-length in North America earlier this year via Listenable Records. Shadowlands was recorded in three sessions – June 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 – at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke (Pilgrim, Satan’s Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al).

Find physical ordering info at THIS LOCATION. For digital orders go HERE.

MOS GENERATOR – Tour Of The Shadowlands 2018:
9/21/2018 Little Devil’s Lunchbox – Port Angeles, WA
9/22/2018 Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA
9/23/2018 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
9/24/2018 The Palomino – Calgary, AB
9/25/2018 Bulldog Pizza – Winnipeg, MB
9/27/2018 Coalition – Toronto, ON
9/28/2018 House Of Targ – Ottawa, ON
9/29/2018 Descendants Of Crom Fest – Pittsburgh, PA
10/01/2018 Bugjar – Rochester, NY
10/02/2018 Pauly’s Hotel – Albany, NY
10/03/2018 Soliday’s – Niagara Falls, NY
10/04/2018 The Sanctuary – Detroit, MI
10/05/2018 Doomed & Stoned Fest – Indianapolis, IN
10/06/2018 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
10/07/2018 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
10/09/2018 Streets Of London – Denver, CO
10/11/2018 Press Club – Sacramento, CA
10/12/2018 The Alibi – Arcata, CA
10/13/2018 High Water Mark – Portland, OR

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Mos Generator, Shadowlands (2018)

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