Friday, September 21, 2012

... MOS GENERATOR "nomads"

Given that "Nomads" is Mos Generator's first album in five years, it sounds astonishingly relaxed.
The band, which has heaped up quite a pile of records since 2000, seems content with itself, yet not smug, being able to bite but not shying away from a kiss, manifest in the psychedelic "Cosmic Ark", which stumps the listener (who per chance expected the umpteenth Stoner redundancy) relatively early on the album. Drummer Shawn Johnson provides swinging rhythms in an earnest way just as frontman Tony Reed often doubles himself behind the microphone with fragile harmonies.

On the other, harder hitting hand, the pounding "Solar Angels" verges on what is commonly called Classic Rock (as a somewhat redundant genre term) and seems just as epic as the final track "This Is The Gift Of Nature" which clocks in at seven and a half minutes. Here even more than elsewhere on "Nomads", the trio jams it out, but doesn't kill the song. They all would function in an acoustic setting, too, like any good tune does. Consequently for Mos Generator, it's all about dynamic tempo and hummable vocal melodies, as shown in "Can't Get Where I Belong". This track offers the strongest chorus on the record and a monstrous lyric hookline ("don't know where I'm from", rhyming with the title). "For Your Blood" has a Lizzy-esque swing, and the pacing, bluesy "Torches" could come from Wino while "Step Up" fools around nicely with both very fragile and heavy parts.

To refer back to Tony Reed again: The man is no operatic singer - couldn't be for his at times blistering fretwork - but delivers it all: Class and heartblood instead of faux gestures like way to many groups of that stripe; Mos Generator mean it, whether with spirited solos or lyrics worth reading … and with "Lonely One Kenobi", they hand in one of the coolest titles of the year. If you are searching for the top bringers of mean riffery with a large heart: Mos Generator belong to them.

words by Andreas Schiffmann


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