MC5 announce Heavy Lifting release date and Boys Who Play With Matches single release

MC5 announce Heavy Lifting release date and Boys Who Play With Matches single release

MC5 Announce Heavy Lifting Release Date and Boys Who Play With Matches Single Release

MC5, the legendary Detroit proto-punk band, has announced the release date for their highly anticipated new album, “Heavy Lifting.” This marks the band’s first studio album in over five decades. The album is set to drop on October 18 via EarMusic, just one day before the band is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The album features guitar and vocals from the late Wayne Kramer, who passed away in February at the age of 75. Kramer co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks on the album with Oakland musician Brad Brooks. The album also includes contributions from the late MC5 drummer Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson, who passed away in May. This will be Thompson’s final studio recording.

The first single from the album, “Boys Who Play With Matches,” has been released and is produced by the iconic Bob Ezrin. Ezrin, known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, and KISS, has described the album as “very heavy” with a revolutionary message and a good sense of humor. The album features a mix of heavy metal and funk, with a strong emphasis on guitars.

Heavy Lifting boasts an impressive lineup of guest musicians, including Tom Morello, Slash, William DuVall of Alice in Chains, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, and Tim McIlrath of Rise Against. The album also features contributions from Don Was, Vicki Randle, Stevie Salas, Abe Laboriel Jr., Winston Watson Jr., and Joe Berry.

Wayne Kramer had been teasing the new album since 2022, sharing snippets of the title track “Heavy Lifting” on social media. In a November 2023 interview with Uncut, Kramer discussed the album, stating, “Live long and stay creative. This is my attitude. And this album continues from where ‘High Time’ left off. In that, I think it’s an artist’s responsibility to reflect the times they’re going through. And I think that we made an album that is in sync with where we’re at today and the challenges that we’re facing, and that carries a positive message.”

The album’s tracklist includes:

  • Heavy Lifting (feat. Tom Morello)
  • Barbarians At The Gate
  • Change, No Change
  • The Edge Of The Switchblade (feat. William DuVall & Slash)
  • Black Boots (feat. Tim McIlrath)
  • I Am The Fun (The Phoney)
  • Twenty-Five Miles
  • Because Of Your Car
  • Boys Who Play With Matches
  • Blind Eye (feat. Dennis Thompson)
  • Can’t Be Found (feat. Vernon Reid & Dennis Thompson)
  • Blessed Release
  • Hit It Hard (feat. Joe Berry)

A bonus edition of the album will also be available, featuring previously unreleased live recordings from the MC50 tour in 2018. This tour celebrated the 50th anniversary of MC5’s debut album, “Kick Out the Jams.” The live band for the MC50 tour included Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Faith No More’s bassist Billy Gould, and frontman Marcus Durant of Zen Guerrilla, with a special guest appearance by Mark Arm of Mudhoney.

MC5’s influence on the music world is undeniable. Emerging from the gritty streets of Detroit in the mid-60s, the band revolutionized rock ‘n’ roll with their fusion of garage rock, blues, soul, free jazz, and proto-punk. Their incendiary live performances and radical left-wing stance have inspired countless musicians, including the Ramones, The Clash, Rage Against The Machine, and The White Stripes.

Producer Bob Ezrin emphasized the importance of this album, stating, “It’s a snapshot of a guitar man at the height of his powers. We all feel a responsibility to make sure that his work is heard, and he is celebrated. We poured our hearts into the project.”

With the release of “Heavy Lifting,” MC5 continues to affirm that the spirit of punk endures. The album is a testament to the band’s lasting impact and their uncompromising vision of the future. Fans can pre-order the album now and listen to the lead single, “Boys Who Play With Matches,” to get a taste of what’s to come.

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