Reviews for Songs For Future Gods...
Over the years, Seattle has produced many great (and not so great!) bands. While the town is best known as the base of the grunge phenomenon that exploded in the '90s, a great number of metal bands have reared their heads in the land of flannel: Sanctuary, Nevermore, and Queensryche, War Babies, and MindFunk just to name a few. Now, the MindFunk's drummer, Shawn Johnson has returned with a whole different beast: Mos Generator. Formed in 2000, the band has cut their on the indie circuit, self-releasing albums and making a general racket. Thankfully, all around rock fans Small Stone Records has picked up the band for their latest release, last year's SONGS FOR FUTURE GODS.
Right from the opening riff of "Silver Olympus", it's obvious that Mos Generator is into Black Sabbath and '70s rock. It’s no surprise then that the rest of the album sees the band doing their damndest to meld the two together in a completely entertaining mixture. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for this stuff, and from the get go, I was hooked on SONGS FOR FUTURE GODS. Whether it's the lumbering space-nik doom of “Wizards of the Prophecy Pen” or the straight ahead rock jilted lover slam "Sleeping Your Way to the Middle", Mos Generator keep you glued to your speakers.
The band doesn't let up over the course of the album's 10 tracks, keeping the rockin' riffs coming at all times, allowing only brief respites within individual tracks, but never succumbing to common Quaalude-drip trap that many of their peers fall prey to. It's a perfect balance, where even in a relatively straight rocker like the aforementioned "Sleeping Your Way to the Middle", the band still manages to squeeze in a Tony Iommi-esque exploratory solo break. Brilliant.
Mos Generator are the real thing. They may not have been there in 1974, but hey, chances are neither were you. So jump in their time machine and travel to a more exciting time for rock – just watch out for the Atom Smasher on your way.
Reviewer: WaspmanMarch, 2008metal-rules.com
The Ripple Effect
Back when I was in high school, there was a guy named Forney who's parents had a huge ranch way down a country road outside town. Let me tell you, there was no bigger night waiting in store for us hormone-crazed teenage boys than when the battle cry of "party at Forney's" soared through the air of the school halls with all the velocity of an airborne virus. Forget all the "high school" movies you've ever seen, the true definition of a "kegger" was a Forney barn blow-out; beer kegs piled on top of haystacks, a sea of black Cameros outside dueling with the pickup trucks for parking, drunk high school girls in way-too-short shorts, the obligatory testosterone-fueled fist fight, freshmen puking in the corner, and of course the music.
God bless that music. With speaker's perched precariously on outdated farming equipment, the music set the tone for the night. It didn't matter what it was. Sometimes, AC/DC alternating with Ted Nugent. Other times Thin Lizzy with a little Skynard. Zeppelin, April Wine, UFO, Scorpions. It was all the soundtrack of my life.
For all of you out there who remember your own 70's high school party blast, or were born too late but god-damned you wish you'd had one, Mos Generator is the band for you. Firmly committed to bringing back that monstrous riff-heavy rock of the seventies, but dragging it kicking and screaming into the new millennium, Mos Generator create their own version of a great beer party blowout soundtrack.
A power trio from Washington, bringing in rock veterans Tony Reed from Treepeople, Scooter Haslip from Voodoo Gearshift and Shawn Johnson from the lost classic band Mind Funk, these guys play it clean and hard. Blasting off with a furious NWOBHM staccato riff before dropping down into a massively bottom-heavy Sknyard-esque groove, "Silver Olympus" sets things off revving at 400 hp. A custom-made air-guitar freakout, this is the type of song that would've had the guys at Forney's head bobbing in a massive group, trying to impress the girls with their freakish air guitar mastery. Of course, the girls would've looked on bemused, but truthfully not giving a fuck.
Just listen to the way that first track segues down to "NandV", the riff not stopping but slicing into a muscular, mid-tempo rocker. Tony Reed screeches out all Paul Stanely in his vocal approach, but actually a better singer. Better able to carry a tune with gruffness and some southern soul to his vocal chords without ascending into Stanley's habit of screeching the high notes. In some ways, this track may best represent what Mos Generator is really all about. This is Kiss in a head-on collision at the demolition derby with Skynard in some god-forsaken Alabama town. Not stoner rock, the guitar tones are too clear, this is a return to the muscularity of classic 70's rock in all its bastard glory.
"Son of the Atom Smasher," continues on, jackhammer heavy 70's metal being belched out from the pit of the tractor pull. "Wizards of the Prophecy Pen," drops in a touch of Sabbath riffing, then again that Skynard vibe highlighted by some quasi-mystical, sci-fi lyrics. But in reality, its all about the riff. That freaking riff, guaranteed to loosen a few brain cells from your head thrashing in time to the groove. Bass and drumming are solid, just as they are through out the whole disc. Mos Generator is a tight unit, obviously playing what they love.
But just when you think you've got the guys totally nailed, "Acapulco Gold," sets you off soaring onto a Steely Dan inspired ode to that delectable herb. This is Mos Generator's "Sweat Leaf," but complete with jazzy breaks and a near Santana-esque guitar tone. Then suddenly, "Sleeping Your Way to The Middle," launches back to the full-on 70's metal freakout, a great bass line tripping underneath the searing guitar. Insert image of hands raised in Ronnie James Dio devil horns here.
While it's impossible to describe Mos Generator without making reference to all those classic 70's acts I've named dropped, it doesn't mean these guys are derivative. Rather, it's a compliment. If you asked them, they'd drop these same names as bands that they've worshiped, been inspired by and emulated. They set out, pockets loaded with testosterone and a clear disdain for all the watered down, pretty boy, sensitive pop currently dominating the airwaves, to bring back good, old-fashioned pile-driving riff rock. This is classic rock for the future, made by guys who aren't afraid of their own testicles.
Now go out and buy your own kegs of Budwieser, find an abandoned barn, bring a Camero full of air guitars and clear some space for the freshmen to puke in. High school is back in session and Mos Generator are bringing on the soundtrack. Be prepared, fights will break out. You've been warned.
- RacerMarch 24th, 2008http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com
Thick-riffed hard rocker from some lifers up west of Seattle. The guys in Mos Generator have done time in Mindfunk, Treepeople, and Voodoo Gearshift and know which end of the guitar to tickle. The music is hard-bore rocker stuff based in the kick ass mid-'70s roughed up with '80s gut punch and a live action boot to the butt feel. Look at it as sharing a undergroundist/punk* club attack formed from the arena rock shared by the Stooges (generally boo'd), Aerosmith when they were riding the drug train, and Steppenwolf's hefty biker blooze-rock moments all chopped and channeled for max utility. This formula's got a couple decades of "rode hard, put up wet" to it; luckily it's steeped in the tradition of the full-on band format, not that "backing a singer " bullshit.
It wouldn't mean dick on disc without decent tunes, and hell, you can grab a couple easy with one hand outta this tubful. "Lumbo Rock" moves like Lenny Kravitz and Slash giving the finger to the idea of airplay whilst tearing up a boogie with a quick harmony solo and a spinning back kick of a hook dropped onto a damn hear soulful (the ghost of Phil Lynott) chorus. "Wizards of the Prophecy Pen" splits the difference between Clutch and ZZ Top like up and comers Year Long Disaster have the past year, and the opener "Silver Olympus" sounds like they took a bet that they could write a fantastic tune for Kiss' Rock and Roll Over, that is it has the ker-chunka energy Judas Priest's Hell Bent for Leather.
Obviously, it helps to have a singer this good. In a hard rock trio, it's necessary to have the melodic and textural top stroked by strong vocal lines to get tunes over; bombast isn't enough. These guys have way too much groove to fall into the amped acid rock/punk crossover overload that's primarily overdriven head music (no insult at all, just a different thing). The power-thud herein is underpinned by a bucketful of Grand Funk/grunge therein being ass-shaker stuff crunched into the fist-in-the-air headbanging beer-in-the-air yahoo! grit-grease I love like free whiskey. Small Stone seems to've developed a taste for this kinda thing: Witness Sasquatch's second record, II, a fine one playing ball in the same field, as well as the Roadsaw disc that should drop right about now.
Craig RegalaSeptember 9th, 2007www.lollipop.com
Leicester Bangs (UK)
After all these years there are still those who, immersed in a misguided quest for continual innovation, completely miss the point about Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple et al. Nonetheless, it remains fact that post-Apocalypse the only things left intact will be rats, cockroaches and metal bands. I’m not clear what will protect the first two, but without doubt heavy rock has developed a unique survival mechanism which has sustained it through the ups and downs of over forty years of changing musical fashions and which would likely be more than adequate protection against nuclear (or even sonic) attack. Put simply, it knows when enough is enough and its time to get back to basics and rediscover those primal strengths that make it so irrepressible. When its current trends turn stagnant or stale, rock has a proven capacity to reach back inside itself, reassert the rhythms and riffs that it learnt from its forebears, and throw up a whole new generation to carry the baton. The first half decade of the new century restored much of the confidence in metal that nu-metal had dispelled, and a dazzling array of fresh sounds and ideas poured forth from the likes of In Flames, Killswitch Engage, System of A Down, Slipknot, God Forbid, Trivium and more. The last two years however have seen the scene flounder, once more flooded with imitators and pretenders, with many former contenders becoming artistically bankrupt as they explore new ways of cracking the lucrative early teen market. It should come as no surprise to seasoned observers therefore that the smart money (led by the authoritative Metal Hammer) is confidently predicting the rise of a new generation of Southern Gothic, drawing its inspiration from a range of influences which include both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pantera alongside the aforementioned old masters. Emergent names including Black Stone Cherry, Scissorfight, Artemis Pyledriver and He Is Legend are coming forward to stand alongside older hands such as Clutch, Black Label Society, Nashville Pussy and, of course, Phil Anselmo’s revitalised Down. Overall these bands cover a huge area sound-wise, but what unites them is their commitment to the timeless power of tight rhythm, dirty sludgy guitars, strong purposeful vocals and an outlaw mentality, all turned up to 11 or more. They’re not necessarily singing to the same hymn sheet, but they are bound by a conviction that rock’s past has very much a living stake in its future.
In this context Detroit’s Small Stone label, currently flying under the mainstream radar here in the UK could become a genuinely important player. Not only does it specialise in a genre gently nosing its way back into the spotlight, but it also has the quality catalogue to back its claims. Several months ago this site gave a glowing thumbs-up to new releases from Sasquatch and The Glasspack, and made mention of several of their stablemates including Five Horse Johnson and Sons of Otis who have been making waves on the club circuit over here. These bands are bereft of frills and pretensions, and ally themselves unashamedly with the oft-despised 70’s breed of early metal giants, but play with a sturm und drang which sets them apart.
This month’s catch from Small Stone certainly doesn’t disappoint either. Seattle veterans Mos Generator are stripped down heavy rock and roll, a three piece who owe no small debt to Mountain and whose affection for mid-period Sabbath is present throughout. Vocalist / guitarist Tony Reed veers so close to Ozzy’s upper range that it seems to call for a scream of ‘you bastards’ at every refrain. Like the Sabs they temper the onslaught with psychedelic flourishes (on Acapulco Gold, for instance), but they never stray far from the essential groove, and nor do they need to. The playing on ‘Songs for Future Gods’ is lean and disciplined throughout and the songs are well constructed. The band succeed, like their peers, in making ‘old’ music sound vital to new ears.
Greenleaf’s ‘Agents of Ahriman’ is heavier still. Built around the nucleus of guitarist Tommi Holopa and bassist / engineer Bengt Backe this stoner supergroup is further made up of a cast of guest musicians including Tommi’s former Dozer bandmate Erik Backwall on drums and Oskar Cedermalm (Truckfighters) on the bulk of singing duties. The album is nine tracks of full-on, uncompromising, riff-orientated metal with a massive and brutal wall of sound hammering it home. ‘Black Tar’, four tracks in, is little short of a masterclass in how to do this stuff properly. Having been around since 1999 Greenleaf have concentrated less on polishing their sound and more on adding layers of extra coating to toughen and preserve it. There’s no mystery where the influences and inspirations come from but here they’ve produced a collection of some distinction.
Small Stone may or may not be the next Vertigo, Capricorn, Roadrunner or whatever, but for now they have a stable of particularly interesting acts, all proudly displaying their metal collective consciousness while bringing to it an edge which is very much of the moment and positively roars out for attention.
Neil B.January, 2008www.leicesterbangs.co.uk
With two albums already under their belts, Seattle's MOS GENERATOR have come a long way, since the band have been formed in the cold winter of 2000. Now, where they have found a new home at Small Stone Records, this is their best album until now. 'Songs for Future Gods' very effectively blends groove and heaviness, proving downright catchy in the process and MOS GENERATOR totally have deserved the description 'power-trio'. 'Wizards of the Prophecy Pen' is a masterful combination of early ZZ Top and early Mountain, while 'Into the Long Sleep' is a slow and relaxed song, that knows to impress me with a slight doom touch but also with a hint to 70's heavy prog monsters May Blitz. But here are more swaggering hooks to find, that'll linger in your head long after you've taken the disc out of your player. This here is really refreshing, because MOS GENERATOR know how to handle the good old Blues, Rock 'n' Roll and Hardrock without being swallowed by the current retro trend or to quote the press info: "MOS GENERATOR have taken Rock 'n' Roll out of the 70's and put it back where it belongs, on the road".
I couldn't write it better, than the guys of Small Stone. What also makes this album really good is the fact, that the group is always able to integrate some surprising elements into their songs as for example 'Acapulco Gold', that shifts between hard rockin' parts and sweet psychedelic coolness, while the untitled hidden bonus track at the end of this album is a very atmospheric instrumental, that has been born out of a jam session. 'Songs for Future Gods' is a honest album, played by a band with a great chemistry, and I assure you, that it finds it way to the CD player again and again. Highly recommandable! At least, I give guitarist and singer Tony Reed two extra points for wearing a Pentagram shirt. Well done, man!
(KK) January 13th, 2008www.cosmiclava.com
Heavy Metal Time Machine
It’s never a necessarily a bad thing to have strong influences, but ultimately it’s how you interpret those influences and what the performer adds to those influences. In the increasingly crowded realm of stoner rock it seems that you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone who has a huge Sabbath influence. That’s fine, but if nothing is added to that formula then it doesn’t take me long to think something like “oh, here we go again with the Sweet Leaf revival”. So many bands focus in on just the heavy, doom aspect of Sabbath and that can be limiting. Washington state’s Mos Generator seem to have realized that Sabbath were also capable of bringing some major grooves as well. That aspect ties into having a solid rhythm section and at times relying on them to lead as much as the guitar. This band brings a rather lively, but extremely busy take on some 70’s metal. I would say there is also a bit of Thin Lizzy present plus maybe even some pre Destroyer KISS minus the cheese factor. It’s a complex variation, but it is a little more upbeat maybe and I think it requires a strong grasp of rhythm and using variations that some bands might be afraid to use because it may make them less “metal”. Mos Generator grab the songs and then they twist, bounce and shake them around all the while staying cool and in control. They know how to control and manipulate fairly simple ideas and it really works for them. Sure, there are songs that work better than others, but overall they have taken a proven style and spiced up so it's seems fairly fresh. Not necessarily an album that's going to hit you with one play, but several spins helped me to realize how good this album is. They take some chances, but I appreciate the results.
Metal MarkDecember 18th, 2007metalmark.blogspot.com
It's strange listening to the latest rip from Mos Generator, Songs for Future Gods, because its whole aesthetic seems to pull the mind in two different directions. Add a bit of "Acapulco Gold" (incidentally track eight on the disc) to the sounds of a band set to play a massive stoner rock festival in the Netherlands this April, and it starts to get heavy.
The thing is, Mos really can't be cornered into any specific genre, or, as this album exhibits, even a specific era. They are self-professed "seventies rock preservationists" with the sound of a Black Sabbath Rush crossed with a Deep Zepplin Floyd, yet sometimes they sing of a prophetic time period, seemingly light years away. The mind is in a constant state of flux between the sonic old-schooledness and these futuristic mental pictures. Then it bounces you back to the present day.
It’s fuckin' strange, but excitedly intriguing.
When I first picked it up, I didn't imagine that it would be one of those discs that you could listen to for six-days-straight, but here I am, ten days later, writing with my headphones on, still trying to pick the brain of the Mos Generator.
The journey begins with a walk through "Silver Olympus" - a straight-ahead motor-city starting line for the sci-fi trip through the atmosphere. The trip goes all the way "Into the Long Sleep,” an epic floating through space.
From there, it lets your mind carry on. Where each listener will carry it, is up to their own interpretation.
Port Orchard, Washington, is where it began.
Songs for Future Gods was recorded intimately at Mos frontman Tony Reed's Temple Sound studio in South Kitsap, which has hosted Northwest notables like Schoolyard Heroes and Kane Hodder. With the producer in the band and basically unlimited time at their fingertips, Mos went to work stripping its sound down to the essence of hard rock.
“It was an intensive process,” Reed said in a stream-of-thought about the album posted at Roadburn Records' site. They recorded it once in a friend's band room, and then months later, they recorded it again at Temple Sound, looking for raw energy.
And that seems to be what they've found with the rock-steady metal/grunge groove of drummer Shawn Johnson (formerly of Mindfunk) matching a thick stack o' bass from Scooter Haslip (formerly with Voodoo Gearshift) and power-chorded wailings from the iconic six-string of Tony Reed (T. Dallas Reed of Treepeople fame.)
"We get what we want out of our music, because we are in control of it," Reed said.
Another Bremerton-based recording engineer and Northwest music buff once told me that anyone who plays (or attempts to play) rock guitar must, he repeats, must see Mos Generator, if only to see Reed's chops. So I checked out a session at Bremerton's Winterland. The guitar work was quick and clean, soulful and screaming, massive and old school.
But what's more, the opening act was the first "Planet of the Apes."
Reed notes that quite a few of these songs for future gods are science-fiction-inspired, but for this CD he also wrote his first political song. It's a track called "Son of Atom Smasher," and though it was provoked by anti-Bush sentiments and the consequent quasi-longing for a "dick-less" president, Reed added, "It's hidden behind so many double meanings, that's the way I always write... I don't even know what ("Son of Atom Smasher") means, it was just a cool title."
All of Songs for Future Gods is kind of like that. It can wrap your mind around itself and have you thinking for days without fully grasping its true meaning.
Regardless, it's a damn cool album. - (8/10)
Bill MickelsonDecember 26th, 2007www.nadamucho.com
All Music Guide
Because of their '70s-inspired influences and independent work ethic, Mos Generator always seemed destined to record for sonically sympathetic Small Stone Records. But it surprisingly took several years and a couple of albums for this seeming no-brainer relationship to finally strike up. Now, it has borne tantalizing fruit in the shape of 2007's Songs for Future Gods, as the well-traveled, veteran power trio finally comes home to roost, as it were. Opening track "Silver Olympus" may burst off the starting block on a rapid-fire riff descended from Saxon's "Heavy Metal Thunder," but as listeners will quickly realize via more representative follow-up tracks like "Son of Atom Smasher" and "Wizards of the Prophecy Pen," Mos Generator like their songs relatively mid-paced and "clean" sounding rather than overloaded with distortion, stoner rock-style. As a result, additional standouts like the grooving "NandV," the driving "Y'juana," and the swinging "Acapulco Gold" achieve a more authentic, classic hard rock aesthetic, steeped in age-old giants like Grand Funk, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, April Wine, etc., and confine the "stoner rock" element to their weed-worshiping lyrics. Some songs get a little too laid-back for their own good, actually ("Into the Long Sleep" threatens to put listeners into just that), but others pick up the slack with a more aggressive attack (see "Yes My Lord"), balancing everything out in the end. And even though he generally snarls and croons like Monster Magnet's Dave Wyndorf, frontman Tony Reed also has a Paul Stanley-like quality to his voice that's sure to put a smile on any vintage rock fan's face. All in all, Mos Generator succeed in their mission to rock like it's 1975 (with a modern twist) all over again with Songs for Future Gods.
Eduardo RivadaviaDecember 22nd, 2007www.allmusic.com
The Cutting Edge
Recorded in Port Orchard, WA the density of Songs for Future Gods will bury anything that gets in the way. Three veterans of the Seattle scene, Tony Reed (guitar/vocals), Shawn Johnson (drums), Scooter Haslip (bass) who form Mos Generator, have played in a diversity of bands ranging from punk to metal. Their projects may not be well known, but they extend back to the mid-eighties and are considered by many as trendsetters. Their projects included Mind Funk, Treepeople and 12:30 Dreamtime to name a few. Mos Generator, however is a throwback to the seventies with a volley of hooks and a truckload of dirty rock that gives a nod to bands like early April Wine and Black Sabbath. Case in point, first cut "Silver Olympus" comes off like April Wine's "Ladies Man" where as "Son of Atom Smasher" could have sat comfortably on Technical Ecstasy. In fact, every song on the disc drips of '70s hard rock. The band claims their hometown of Bremerton gave them their lust for heavy rock and an old mossy drum kit landed the inspiration for the band name.
Songs for Future Gods is the third release from the power trio. Though the guitar is the loudest, the bass and drums catch all the nuances. Tracks "NandV" and "Lumbo Rock" are meat and potatoes thunder rock where "Wizards of the Prophecy Pen" and "Into the Long Sleep" bring in elements of jazz ala King Crimson - a spill over from their concept disc The Late Great Planet Earth. Reed's voice echoes that of Clutch's Neil Fallon so there is a shade of southern ass-kicking in "Yes, My Lord" and "Sleeping Your Way To The Middle" with a funky Deep Purple in the bottom end. The biggest surprise is the disco pop of "Acapulco Gold." Heavy on the Wurlitzer, it packs a punch mixing mirrored ball dance beats with crunchy guitar and blinding leads ala Pablo Cruise meets Ted Nugent. The power chord riff of "Y'juana" tells us of a tantalizing Tijuana tale with a smooth groove and a catchy chorus. Bonus track "You Feel It Until You Can't Feel Anything At All" is a 13-minute 'live' opus of classic desert rock. It's primitive, raw and meaty with great guitar/ bass twists and turns while the crashing drums hammer away.
Todd K SmithNovember 5th, 2007www.thecutting-edge.net
Penny Black Music (UK)
In a postmodern world, looking backward has as much value as looking forwards. Mos Generator are unashamedly staring the 70's straight in its bloodshot eye, and doing a damn fine job of it too â€“ 'Songs For Future Gods' reeks of the classic tropes of heavy metal, before spandex and perms sent everything pear-shaped.
The usual postmodernist take on musical genres is to update them somehow; to rob the clothes and leave the flesh behind, like dressing up in your parents' wardrobe relics for a night out. Irony, pastiche, the knowing smugness of the culture vulture ... none of that from Mos Generator. Rather than simply taking the stink of 70's rock as a starting point, they've taken it as their end-point too.
Looking back at what in retrospect looks like little more than an era of bad drugs and worse fashion choices, it's easy to forget that the 70's was when heavy metal found its true voice, and penned the blueprint for the multitude of subgenres that proliferate today. The obvious canonical touchstone is always Black Sabbath, and Mos Generator's music unsurprisingly has similarities to the early sound of Ozzy's boys.
But unlike a lot of stoner rock outfits, Mos Generator have looked further afield, and 'Songs For Future Gods' features the bright melodic hooks familiar from 'lighter' bands like Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. So you've got your strong central riffs, naturally; but it's not just about rumbling around in drop-D tunings for six minutes per song - there's dynamic motion, contrasting passages full of light and air that throw the jagged rocks of the riff valleys into sharp relief and cast long shadows deep into the songs. It's nothing new, and there's no arguing the toss about that. But it has an authenticity and attention to detail that can only be produced by skilled and dedicated craftsmen at work in a medium they love with a passion.
But I've not yet mentioned the really distinctive feature of Mos Generator yet â€“ and that is the strong and powerful voice of singer/guitarist Tony Reed. Reed's delivery has more than a touch of familiarity about it too, at least if you're familiar with Dave â€śMonster Magnetâ€ť Wyndorf's better output, but juxtaposing this highly characterised and strident style against the old-school authenticity of the music itself makes for a winning combination. Reed knows that rock and roll is theatre, but that doesn't make him any less committed to belting out his lyrics as if they meant everything to him. So soak up some tall tales of being dazed and confused with your head in the outer reaches of the solar system, and luxuriate in song titles so overstated that you just can't help but smile, like 'Son of Atom Smasher' and 'Wizards of the Prophecy Pen'.
It's the perfect package for fans of the original sound, and there's plenty to enjoy for those who discovered it through the stoner resurgence of the early 90's ... and there's every sign that this sound is making yet another comeback. So perhaps Mos Generator will get the chance to launch a new generation of future gods into orbit.
Paul Raven October 29th, 2007www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
Daredevil Records (Germany)
In the late 2000 former members of MIND FUNK, VOODOO GEARSHIFT and TREEPEOPLE did join to play true not watered down Rock. So far they did release two studio records and one live album.
SLIVER OLYMPUS shows the way, power Rock with nice forcing riffs (the opening one reminds a bit of SAXON) a pushing drive and a catchy melody along with great vocals make this a real winner. NANDV brings in the groove factor and one thing that is more than obvious here is the vocal similarty of Tony Reed (giut/vox) to Dave Wyndorf of MONSTER MAGNET (this also goes for some song arrangements), but compared to Dave, Tony got a lot of more fire left in him. SON OF ATOM SMASHER puts the MONSTER MAGNET arguement even more in the open, WIZARDS OF THE PROPHECY PEN mix fierce Rock with tons of heavy riffs and a kind of THE HIDDEN HAND touch, ohla. It gets a bit doomier in the cool and slow stamping INTO THE LONG SLEEP and in contrast to that also a bit more mellow at times, YES MY LORD sounds a bit like BLACK SABBATH on speed, ACAPULCO GOLD brings in minor Latin juice and a cool rhythm that changes between louder and quieter moments. Y'JUANA has one of the fatest grooves and beats on the record. The last 14 minutes consit of an unlisted instrumental track, not to convincing.
Due to some similartiys to MONSTER MAGNET I have to recommend this one to the fans of the group, and if you're in for honest ball Rock this one is it, the potential of the band is stunning.
Not everyone from the much-vaunted Seattle grunge scene imploded, turned into indie-pop, or otherwise failed on a musical level as the twentieth century stumbled into the twenty-first. No, there were still a few musicians who knew what was what, and three of them managed to form Mos Generator back around 2000, dedicating themselves to All Things Good in Music, aided and abetted by their previous band experience and their record collections. Don’t underestimate that last one: excellent record collections have formed the springboard for more good tuneage than you’ll ever know.
This is the fourth effort from these Port Orchard, Washington riff rockers, and if it’s any indication of their quality, then I hope they hook me up with the other three. Because like you, I can’t ever get enough of top-notch, honest, 70s-soaked, riffing kick-assedness, steeped in enough beer and cannabis to float the whole friggin’ state of Washington. This power trio has tons of energy n’ synergy, serving up a diverse platter of accomplished riffage, a gritty, relaxed road dog sound that’ll sit just fine next to a frosty cool one and a bowl of 5-alarm chili, heavy on the meat. You don’t get this good from just messin’; these guys have a lot of mileage behind them, and they’ve benefited from each and every foot.
Small Stone usually knows something great when they hear it, and thankfully they stepped up to deliver ‘Songs for Future Gods.’ It’s a pleasure to trot out some useful comparisons to aid you in what must surely be a positive purchasing decision: Sasquatch, Puny Human, early Bad Wizard, Black Nasa, Sabbath, Rainbow, Dixie Witch, Mountain, Rush, and arena-era Deep Purple. See how nicely those blend together? That’s what Mos Generator sounds like. The CD has some really cool Willy Ley/Golden Era of Science Fiction artwork, too. Rock!
Kevin McHugh September 26, 2007www.hellridemusic.com
Apparently Small Stone Records passed on The Late Great Planet Earth, Mos Generator's previous album, as the label felt there was no way they could sell a concept album about Armageddon (possibly fallout from you'rNext, Bottom's stab at the bohemian artistic). But they couldn't have missed that the songs themselves were fantastic, as the Silverdale, WA-based three-piece's latest is SS-075 in the Small Stone catalog.
Given that back story, it's obvious that Songs for Future Gods has no central theme. Unless you want to treat it as a primer on how to write great songs. Typical of the bands that make up the Small Stone roster, Mos Generator (Tony Reed: guitar/vocals/Wurlitzer, Shawn Johnson: drums, Scooter Haslip: bass) is dialed into the '70's rock aesthetic. As a trio, it all comes down to band chemistry, and the band's got plenty to spare. There's a ton of dexterous playing on Songs for Future Gods, making them as much a descendant of Rush as Deep Purple and Sabbath (the more Pink Floyd-like aspects of Late Great have been toned down considerably).
As for the songs in particular, Mos Generator covers a pretty diverse amount of ground. For personal highlights, “Silver Olympus” speeds along frantically, building up to a great solo section. “NandV” has a great heavy swing to it. “Lumbo Rock” is one of the better feel good numbers I've heard – it could almost be considered a pop song, except that it rocks far too hard to meet the accepted definition. And as far as paeans to marijuana go, “Acapulco Gold” does a damn fine job with the laid back, Wurlizter-driven groove at the center of the song and the super charged riffing that encases it. The album as a whole has a loose feel to it; it's relaxed yet completely in charge, which lets the band's stylistic forays seem less like aimless jamming (the exception is the bonus track, “You Feel It Until You Can't Feel Anything,” which is a rough, straight to tape improv from early in the band's career).
If you picked up a copy of the band's self titled album you'll notice that four of the songs have been re-recorded. At first I felt that was a bit of a cheat – I'd rather have all new material. But given how good “Lumbo Rock” alone is, I'm finding it hard to do anything but enjoy this album. Recommended.
John Pegoraro August 5th, 2007www.stonerrock.com