MC5 Release New Single from First Album in 53 Years

by Patria

Detroit’s legendary punk rock band MC5 has unveiled a visualizer for their latest single “Boys Who Play With Matches,” the lead track from their upcoming album “Heavy Lifting.” This marks their first new release in 53 years, set to hit stores on October 18, just before their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Wayne Kramer, the band’s founding member, spearheaded the project, working with renowned producer Bob Ezrin (known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, and KISS). The album includes contributions from original MC5 drummer Dennis ‘Machine Gun’ Thompson on two tracks, along with guest appearances from notable artists like Slash, Tom Morello, William DuVall (Alice in Chains), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Don Was, and Tim McIlrath (Rise Against).

MC5 emerged from Detroit’s gritty streets in the mid-60s, revolutionizing rock ‘n’ roll with their unique blend of garage rock, blues, soul, free jazz, and proto-punk. Known for their explosive live performances and radical left-wing stance, MC5 has inspired countless musicians, including the Ramones, The Clash, Rage Against The Machine, The White Stripes, and Slash. Their influence continues to resonate in punk and alternative rock music today.

EarMUSIC is set to release “Heavy Lifting” on October 18, the day before MC5’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where they will receive the “Musical Excellence Award.” This album is the first new music from the band since 1971’s “High Time.” Tragically, Wayne Kramer passed away suddenly in February, followed by Dennis Thompson’s death in May, making “Heavy Lifting” Thompson’s final studio recording.

In a November 2023 interview with UNCUT, Kramer reflected on the new album, saying, “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 was recorded with producer Bob Ezrin and features a star-studded lineup of Kramer’s friends and musical colleagues. This includes contributions from Slash, Tom Morello, William DuVall, Vernon Reid, Don Was, and Tim McIlrath, creating a collaborative effort that bridges generations of musicians inspired by MC5’s fearless approach to music and activism. The album also features Vicki Randle, Stevie Salas, Abe Laboriel Jr., Winston Watson Jr., and Joe Berry.

Ezrin describes “Heavy Lifting” as “a heavy record with a revolutionary message but also a good sense of humor. There’s a little bit of heavy metal, quite a bit of funk, but it is 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, featuring previously unreleased live recordings from the MC50 tour in 2018, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of MC5’s 1969 debut album, “Kick Out the Jams.” The MC50 live band includes 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).

“Heavy Lifting” Tracklist:

“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)”

related articles

Dive into the enchanting world of music at, your ultimate destination for discovering new and diverse sounds. From emerging artists to timeless classics, embark on a musical journey that transcends genres and captivates your senses.

Copyright © 2023