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Mos Generator 'Mos Generator - 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition' (Ripple Music) 4/5

Now it can't have escaped many peoples notice that there is a big retro rock scene going on in the US underground at the moment. Acts like Crash Street Kids, Stone Axe, Stone Mask, Antique Scream, The Muggs and many others are looking back to the classic primordial heavy rock sounds of the late 60's and early 70's and reworking the vibe for a new millennium. One of the founding fathers of this movement are Seattle outfit Mos Generator. Formed out of the ashes of the 90's Seattle grunge scene in the year 2000, this classic power trio have issued a string of really quite remarkable albums over the past ten years or so most of which are still available. But until now there have been two releases missing from the back catalogue. Their 2002 eponymous debut album and the follow up live album “Live At The Manette”, have been unavailable for a good few years, but now, ten years on the band have issued not only that seminal debut album, but also packaged it up with the full set from the gig that gave rise to the aforementioned live CD and thrown an unreleased early demo track in for good measure.

Now listening back to this album I am struck at how fresh this stuff still sounds. The trade mark sound of Grand Funk and Blue Cheer influenced old school hard rock fused with the Seattle grunge sound of the 1990's makes for a very ear friendly vibe. On the studio section of this release tracks like Sleeping Your Way To The Middle, Acapulco Gold and the superb Pentagramagraph come over like the rampaging inhabitants of a sonic Jurassic Park; thunderously heavy, jaw droppingly magnificent and maybe just a little bit scarey. This is music that went extinct many years ago, but against all expectation and logic, here it is alive and thriving in the modern age.

However its on the “Live At The Manette” section Mos Generator really come into their own. Here we have a warts and all, ball out, no holds barred exercise in classic old school stoner rock sensibilities. Listening to these live tracks my age addled mind is dragged screaming back to to those old gigs I used to attend back in the days of the NWOBHM when not only were new acts doing this stuff in the pubs and clubs of the UK, but old original purveyors of this kind of raw stoner-psyche rock such as The Groundhogs were back in fashion. In fact I have to keep reminding myself that this material dates from 2002 not 1982 or 1972. Highlights of the live stuff? well Stone County Line is fantastic, Opium Eyes is classic, but my fave cut is the Zep influenced You Bring The Wine, I'll Bring The Weather, which has a riff that just drives.

All in all this is great stuff and this reissue belongs in everyone's collection if you have the original versions or not.

For Fans of... Stone Axe, The Muggs, Blue Cheer, The Groundhogs, Antique Scream....

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