After two years away, MOS GENERATOR offer forward their fifth studio album Abyssinia. Those looking to see how then band have progressed in their music, and those hoping for the trio to still remain solid in their roots to classic Rock and Stoner Doom will not be disappointed. This is a record that provides for everyone.
Utterly groovy, mellowed out, chunky. These are some of the words that come to mind for the opening track Strangest Times. It’s the guys at their best here, all the big sounds of Classic blues, with a big old dollop of Metal, while the Stoner elements ride on over in the bands signature style. Getting into the darker side of Stoner, into almost Doom areas, the band have an intangible kind of buzz throughout second track You’ve Got a Right. It’s complicated to explain; while it’s rich in tone, there’s more expression of an energy than of chilled out, laid back sort of track. Definitely one to revisit once the album has been fully digested as a collective.
Catspaw is pretty funky, with a decent riff running through and a saucy bassline. It’s the kind of track that sums up MOS GENERATOR. While they’re always shifting into little hints at other genres, they can strip back and put a no frills approach to the stonking, stomping kind of rock music so many grew up on. There’s also a brilliant breakdown towards the end that leaves you just aching for the next track. Thankfully, Easy Evil follows up to great expectation. This is the kind of BLACK SABBATH nod of a track we have come to sometimes know from MOS GENERATOR, but it’s so their own style, their own take on the inspiration that you really can’t take it to anything higher than that. Wicked Willow is a little funkier than the previous tracks, which is no bad thing. It’s got a good rhyme and melody, it’s beefy and heartfelt, but overall isn’t the strongest track on the album. It just feels a little rock by numbers, and for a band with such a great back catalogue, this isn’t their strongest effort.
However, As Above So Below is definitely a step back into the right sting of things and might be the best part of this album. Hard, and deep, it’s a track that knows how big it is, and plays on it with cool confidence. The breakdown is pure stoner bliss, while the bark of the chorus is a real clincher as a fusion of some heavy ass Rock music. Red Canyons is equally a great track, a lot of fun and a jumpy, almost giddy tune that plays some wicked fills and keeps you ridding on with the beat. You’ll be enjoying this track for the ease of play, and while it’s probably the most accessible MOS GENERATOR song on offer here, that’s definitely nothing to turn your nose up at when you hear just how animated it is.
There’s No Return From Nowhere turns towards the more trippy, psychedelic edge of things with it’s intro, but pulls out the big guns for the Doom melodies. Those wanting something menacing, yet unexpectedly charming in places, this is the track to focus your energies on. Utterly appealing in all instances. Time Other Thieves is another bash at Classic Rock style. It plays around with itself, ever churning out some lovely little riffs and licks, and while the tune itself is initially just as any other Rock tune, with the accompanying addition of the synth-styling towards the end makes an interesting enough twist towards originality.
Outlander is as mellowed out, as captivating as MOS GENERATOR gets. Not in the sense of energetic captivation, but in the fact that this is a sombre start to the end. It’s peaceful, it’s a swell of all the strange and beautiful elements that allow this three piece to be so distinct. This is a masterful piece of production, and the perfect way to complete Abyssinia.
All in all, this is yet another solid output from MOS GENERATOR. While often going over similar areas that have been covered before, the band are not afraid to still experiment and to play around with their sound. After sixteen years together, it’s not often so few can make so much noise, and to such glorious effect. All in all, Abyssinia is a class album from a top class band.
Abyssinia is set for release on July 15th via Listenable Records.
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