Don’t you just hate some people? They seem to ooze awesomeness from every pore and win on every level in everything they do. Tony Reed is one such a person. With Stone Axe he rewrote the rule book for retro rock and roll and with Mos Generator he is responsible for some of the finest 70’s touched stoner rock infused hard rock around today. That doesn’t even touch on his skills as a producer in the studio of some note.
Having produced St Vitus’s latest album it’s hardly surprising that Mos Generator were invited to support the doom legends on a 26 date European tour early in 2013 and it is from one night on that tour in Nurnberg that this recording comes. It seems the support slot is one perfectly suited to the live album format; you get 40 minutes to do your thing, present your best material and have a point to prove and on this album that’s exactly what you get as Mos Generator tear through seven tracks culled from their ten year back catalogue. It’s clear that the time on the road on this tour had honed Mos Generator to a tight functioning machine by this point, this being show number 21. The band are clearly on fire whether playing newer songs from their last album “Nomads” released on Ripple Music in 2012 or older tunes such as “Lumbo Rock” or “On The Eve”. The interplay between the three members, Reed on vocals and guitar, Shawn Johnson on drums, formerly of 90’s legends Mind Funk and Scooter Haslip on bass is bordering on telepathic. The songs adhere fairly closely to the original formats but subtle jams are thrown in for good measure to keep the material fresh and the playing throughout from all three members is about as good as it gets, Haslip and Johnson in particular forge an impressive rhythm section that should lie at the core of any three piece.
Given that Mos Generator’s studio albums themselves are never feats of excess or over production it’s good to hear that songs are perfectly suited to the live environment and this is captured beautifully in the production that not only allows for perfect balance and separation between the constituent parts but retains that essential lively feel of a band onstage as well as showing the audience’s appreciation of the band’s effort’s. Granted the crowd’s responses aren’t as feverish as you may hear on the classic live albums from the 70’s from bands such as Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent or Queen for example but in a way it’s even more heart warming to hear the German crowd growing in respect and appreciation for the band as the set progresses.
This is the first release from Burning World Record’s stalwart Désirée Hanssen’s new label Lay Bare Recordings. This is by no means a mere offshoot from Burning World however, this is a fully fledged label in its own right with a set agenda; to produce quality vinyl from kick ass rock and roll bands. Getting Mos Generator on board for this release is about as fine a start as a label could possibly get. You’ll have to be quick though, this is a limited release and copies won’t hang around forever so grab them while they’re hot.
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall