Mos Generator – Abyssinia (Listenable Records)

Genre: Stoner Rock/Hard Rock

Clutch have built a career on offering up rollicking, groovy, riff-laden music that sucks in everyone from doom heads to retro rockers: Mos Generator have a similar appeal. The Washington trio are like Neil Fallon and the boys in their early days, a rough diamond of a band, adored by those in the know but lacking the commercial success that their music deserves.

Abyssinia may not change that, but it will surely propel Mos Generator to bigger stages… and we’d  love to be singing along to the sensational, swaggering Red Canyons with the rest of a beer swilling festival crowd next summer.

What’s striking about this band is although post-Blind Corrosion of Conformity, and even Down, seeps into songs like As Above So Below, the three-piece never fall into stoner rock clichés – not for them, recycling a few Sabbath riffs and dipping the results into a Louisiana swamp. Mos Generator instead write real songs, forging them from weighty power chords, whimsical psychedelia and 70s stomp – the acid-addled swirl of Time Other Thieves and the Floydian Outlander, for instance, rub shoulders with high octane rockers like Catspaw and Strangest Times, and it makes perfect, wonderful sense.

Plus, in Tony Reed, the band have a superb vocalist with enough guts to drive home their heavier output, but enough restraint to let their mellower moments blossom.

Classic songwriting, class delivery… what’s not to like?