I don’t really need to go into how 2020 played out but Tony Reed turned a negative into a positive with twelve epic releases. He used the time to dig through the vaults, create new music and supply the world a much needed lifeline. There was constantly something to look forward to in a time where it was hard for many.
It didn’t stop as soon as the ball dropped ringing in the New Year though. Tony continues reissuing and releasing new material and we’re only two months into 2021! The next installment of vault releases is titled The Lantern and will drop on February 26th, 2021 through Argonauta Records. Originally released in 2007 as a limited run 10” called Tales From The Vault. Tony always has an awesome story of the recording process and this album is no different. He states these songs were recorded in their rehearsal space and the band had just learned the songs a day or two prior. This allowed a sense of recklessness, ‘There is an atmosphere on this record that doesn’t exist on any other Mos Generator release.’
The opening track Dyin’ Blues immediately draws you in with a simple but effective riff. The contrast in growling vocals in the verse and softer harmonies in the chorus showcase Reed’s incredible range in vocal styles. Scooter and Shawn provide an outstanding rhythm section creating an unforgettable groove. Throughout the track are two awesome solos that really feeds my hunger for the blues.
This album starts off strong. The following track, titled In The Upper Room, slows it back down with a soft, clean guitar riff. The thing that stands out the most are the drums. Shawn shows incredible talent with a very catchy, but slow, drumbeat that fits this song to perfection. I always remember hearing the best drummers aren’t always the ones who play fast, with many technical fills, but those who fit the needs of the song. Shawn does an outstanding job, and then at the two and a half minute mark, you’re lead right into a soulful guitar solo to get lost in. It’s hard to pick a favorite on this album but if I had to, In The Upper Room may be it.
Throughout the track [Dyin’ Blues] are two awesome solos, that really feeds my hunger for the blues…
Reed on the other hand states that this next track The Lantern ‘is possibly my favorite song from these sessions.’ It’s an incredible track with an equally incredible story. Tony discusses how the room was very small, they were ‘tracking without headphones’, he ‘couldn’t hear Scooter’s bass’ but was ‘blown away by how well the bass and drums played off of each other’. It just shows what great musicians can pull off in less than ideal conditions, and The Lantern is a perfect example of the talent these three guys have.
The first three songs are near perfect. How can Mos Generator follow them? Well with the song Nightwolf that’s how. It’s upbeat that keeps your head moving throughout. The guitar tone is perfect, it’s got enough grit where you can still hear the notes ring out. It’s a heavy hitter and coming in at number four in the track list, it’s as if Mos Generator wanted to smash it out of the park.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. I love a final track that starts slow and builds with intensity to close out an album. Mos Generator certainly delivers on that with O’Cataa. The mellow vocals begin immediately, accompanied by a soft guitar riff, giving the song a gentile start. By the end of the three and a half minutes, you almost feel out of breath from the intensity built up before concluding with a swirly spacey outro.
Mos Generator are one of those bands you can listen to anytime, and in any mood as they will always have a song to fit your needs. And now they’re reissuing recordings from their vaults, it’s going to feel like an almost endless stream of music will be coming our way.
Scribed by: Josh Schneider