In 2001, the Port Orchard, Washington trio of Shawn Johnson (drums), Scooter Haslip (bass), and Tony Reed (guitars/vocals) emerged from the jam room and studio to the live stage as Mos Generator and began to shake the Pacific Northwest with their incendiary and uncompromising live performances. Between 2002 and 2007, the band four full length studio albums and, in 2008, released a collection of some of Mos Generator’s finest moments by way of “Destroy! The Mos Generator”. By 2008, the band needed a well deserved break to clean up their lives, follow a different muse, and to recharge the energies that make a hard rock band successful.
In 2010, Tony Reed began a relationship with Ripple Music that saw the re-release of the entire Stone Axe catalog, which opened the door to the possibilities of re-launching Mos Generator, and in late Fall of 2011, the long out-of-print debut self-titled “Mos Generator” album saw its re-release in a grand deluxe package. And, by the time of the re-issued debut album hit the streets, the band had already laid down the basic tracks for their first album of new material in over five years.
In October of 2012, “Nomads” will be received by a world-wide audience, who will experience an introspective journey into the depths of interpersonal relations, the struggle for soul survival, and the optimistic hope that it will all work out in the end, all performed over the bands trademark sound of explosive heavy dissonance combined with equally beautiful melodic passages.
You can wade through as many press quotes about “Texas-sized” as you want or see how many top-whatever lists Wo Fat have made since the Dallas trio got started in 2003, but none of that is going to be the same as staring down their swampadelic fuzz groove for yourself. If you want to know the monster, shake its hand.
In 2014, Wo Fat will release “The Conjuring”, their fifth full-length and second through Small Stone. Like their last two, 2012’s “The Black Code” and 2011’s “Noche del Chupacabra”, it’s a heavy-riff/heavy-jam blast of a time – the kind of record that turns the vaguely interested into converts and that makes the corners on squares look even sharper. Guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter are jazz-combo tight and their roll is easy and natural, like you remember Fu Manchu being, but bigger-sounding and in the case of “The Conjuriing”, darker as well.
There’s been a creature lurking in the woods since Wo Fat’s 2006 debut, “The Gathering Dark” – their second album, 2009’s “Psychedelonaut”, pulled back on the threat some to lighten the mood – but whether it’s the motor-driven rush of “Read the Omens” or the you’re-already-lost-in-it riff-exploration of 17-minute closer “Dreamwalker”, “The Conjuring” is indeed a backwoods ritual. Bluesmen have sold their souls for less.
Veterans of Roadburn, slated for Freak Valley 2014 and self-sufficient with Stump handling the recording at his own Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas, Wo Fat push their jams farther than they’ve ever gone before on these five tracks. Topped off with a mastering job from Nolan Brett at Stump’s studio and an otherworldly cover courtesy of Alexander Von Wieding, the beast that Wo Fat’s tectonic riffage calls to earth has never seemed more real or more alive than it does on “The Conjuring”.