MC5 Releases First New Album in Over 50 Years

Led by founding member Wayne Kramer and recorded with iconic producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss), the album features original MC5 drummer Dennis 'Machine Gun' Thompson on...

Wayne Kramer and Bob Ezrin. Photo: Margaret Saadi Kramer

 

Emerging from the gritty streets of Detroit in the mid-60s, MC5 revolutionised rock’n’roll with their blistering fusion of garage rock, blues, soul, free jazz, and proto-punk. Infamous for incendiary live performances and a radical left-wing stance, their status as pioneers of punk and protest rock has inspired many musicians like RamonesThe Clash, Rage Against The MachineThe White StripesSlash and countless others and continues to shape the sound of punk and alternative rock for generations to come.

earMUSIC will release the first new music from MC5 in 50+ years (following 1971’s ‘High Time’) with the album HEAVY LIFTING due October 18 – one day prior to the band’s induction into 2024’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame when they will receive the “Musical Excellence Award.”

HEAVY LIFTING features guitar and vocals by founding MC5 member Wayne Kramer, who also co-wrote 12 of the album’s 13 songs together with Oakland singer/songwriter Brad Brooks. Prolific for five decades, Kramer was the last remaining active member of MC5. He passed away suddenly in February, followed by the death of drummer Dennis ‘Machine Gun’ Thompson in May. It is Thompson’s final studio recording.

The album’s debut track “Boys Who Play with Matches” is out digitally today, June 6. Stream/download it HERE.

Photo: Jim Newberry

In an interview with UNCUT in November 2023, Kramer discussed the album and said: “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.”

HEAVY LIFTING was recorded with iconic producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, KISS) and features an all-star lineup of Kramer’s friends and musical colleagues including SlashTom MorelloWilliam DuVall (Alice in Chains), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Don Was, and Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), allowing for a collaborative effort that bridges the gap between generations of musicians inspired by MC5’s fearless approach to music and activism. The breadth of MC5’s impact can be heard by all the album’s players, including Vicki Randle (Aretha Franklin), Stevie Salas (Parliament Funkadelic, Rod Stewart), Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney), Winston Watson Jr. (Bob Dylan), and Joe Berry (M83). Far more than a trip down memory lane, HEAVY LIFTING is a resounding affirmation that the spirit of punk endures.

 

Find more information on MC5 online at: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

Tracklisting (CD/LP):

1.          Heavy Lifting (feat. Tom Morello)

2.          Barbarians At The Gate

3.          Change, No Change

4.          The Edge Of The Switchblade (feat. William Duvall &Slash)

5.          Black Boots (feat. Tim McIIrath)

6.          I Am The Fun (The Phoney)

7.          Twenty-Five Miles

8.          Because Of Your Car

9.          Boys Who Play With Matches

10.      Blind Eye (feat. Dennis Thompson)

11.      Can’t Be Found (feat. Vernon Reid & Dennis Thompson)

12.      Blessed Release

13.      Hit It Hard (feat. Joe Berry)

Additional Tracklisting (2CD/2LP):

1.          Ramblin’ Rose

2.          Kick Out The Jams

3.          Come Together

4.          Motor City Is Burning

5.          Borderline

6.          Gotta Keep Movin’

7.          Future/Now

8.          Poison

9.          Shakin’ Street

10.      Sister Anne

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