MC5 – Legendary Detroit Punk Rock Pioneers To Release First New Album In 53 Years. “Heavy Lifting” Out Oct 18

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 two tracks along with special guests including Slash, Tom Morello, William DuVall (Alice in Chains), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Don Was, and Tim McIlrath (Rise Against).

Emerging from the gritty streets of Detroit in the mid-60s, MC5 revolutionized 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 Ramones, The Clash, Rage Against The Machine, The White Stripes, Slash, 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.

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 now.

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.

“It’s very heavy,” Ezrin reports on HEAVY LIFTING“It has a revolutionary message but also a good sense of humor. There’s a little bit of heavy metal. There’s quite a bit of funk. But it is a heavy record, and it’s a guitar record left, right and center. Just a wall of guitars most of the time, and mostly driven by Wayne and his ethos. 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.”

In addition to the 13-track album, a 2CD / 2LP bonus disc will be released including previously unreleased live recordings from the MC50 tour in 2018 celebrating the 50th anniversary of MC5’s revered 1969 debut album, Kick Out the Jams, which features classic anthems like “Kick Out the Jams” and “Ramblin’ Rose.”

Alongside Kramer, the MC50 live band features Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Faith No More’s bassist Billy Gould, and frontman Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla) with a special guest appearance by Mark Arm (Mudhoney).

CD, Vinyl and digital download in addition to bonus 2CD and bonus 2LP