Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mos Generator – Abyssinia

It may be true that I'm too much of a fanboy to write this review. On the other hand, I challenge anyone who loves heavy, straight forward rock and roll to listen to this album and not fall in love with it. Tony Reed and the boys have been doing the Mos Generator thing for a while now, and one of the beautiful things about what they do is that they keep it fresh. There are new musical vistas and horizons in store for you every time a new Mos Generator album drops. This one, more than any in the past, certainly provides some new pleasures.

Without even a split second to catch your breath, the album dives right in to “Strangest Times”. Its a pretty in your face track that ends with a gorgeous Sabbathian sounding section that has some very tasty guitar playing. All ten songs on the album have a little treat ready for you, with songs that seem to be moving in one direction only to surprise you with a little twist or turn. There are some songs here that are unlike anything you've heard before from this band. Mr. Reed has stated in liner notes and interviews that he is using all the influences and ideas at his disposal now with this band, and it certainly shows through. This album is a wonderland for anyone who enjoys heavy rock.

I love the track “Easy Evil”. It has a heavy riff that slams right into you, but it also has a nice, slow groove to it as well. For me, that is one thing that a lot of heavy bands lose sight of. Groove is an essential part of rock music, and just because you are playing something heavy doesn't mean that it can't move you. “As Above So Below” is a lovely ear worm of a song. Again it grooves as much as it rocks, and I have found myself humming it as I concentrate at my desk at work or drive down the road.

If you are a Mos Generator completist, you already own a few of these tracks, as they have been released on various splits in which the band has been involved. Do not let that stop you from buying this album. You need to hear these songs together, moving from one to another, distinct yet also seeming to form a coherent whole. That this band can be this many years in and yet still write songs that are unlike anything they have done before is a testament to how this new-ish version of Mos Generator works. “Red Canyons” and “There's No Return From Nowhere” are unlike anything in the back catalog, at least to my ears. And as the band continues to embrace new styles and influences there is really no limit to what they can do. That is certainly a gift and blessing to us as music fans. They will be playing several shows close to me throughout the summer and I most definitely plan to see them as many times as I can.

Don't let any preconceived ideas of this band stop you from checking out this album. It is quite good and very different, yet also seems like a natural evolution from what they have done in the past. I can't say enough about this album, and really want to mention again the groove you will find in this music. It is important. It moves you and keeps you coming back for more. Give this one a listen and you'll find yourself coming back for repeats.


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