Even the softest, most stripped-down music can translate the same energy as heavy metal in the right hands. You can take away the red-hot tubes and the threat of hearing damage, and properly wielded, acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals can still tap into the same heaviness as an innate characteristic -- not just as the byproduct of gear. If there was ever a musician whose output positioned them perfectly for this kind of avenue, it would be Mos Generator's Tony Reed -- a ridiculously prolific multi-instrumentalist with experience all across the spectrum of rock n' roll. His new album Funeral Suit, part of Ripple Music's "Blood and Strings: The Ripple Acoustic" series, offers a raw and intimate sound that hums with quiet might, draped in shades of moody gray. Stream the title track "Funeral Suit" exclusively now:

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This is not, as some electric-gone-acoustic offerings sometimes are, just Mos Generator "unplugged" -- although Reed initially sketched out the album with songs in that vein, as the album developed he focused more on capturing the sound's potential, letting vocals take the songwriting reins and experimenting with unfamiliar tunings and instruments. It's not wholly disconnected from the heavy rock of his main project, though -- there's certainly some tasty riffs to be found here, strangely at home within the haunting folk atmosphere. There's an immediacy to the album that belies its tactical use of reverb and roominess: every buzz and rattle of the strings is audible, putting you right in the room and making you the direct recipient of each lyric.

"Funeral Suit," demonstrating Reed's aptitude for capitalizing on this format, explores uncomfortable questions with a haunting timbre that nails the hopeless unanswerability of the subject matter. His expressive voice drives the song forward primarily, but it also works in some odder touches, like a brief flute (perhaps a Mellotron) interlude. As a whole, that's what you can expect from Funeral Suit: for every moment that Reed's vocals reach out and draw you in, there's an instrumental passage that's a poignant statement in its own right.

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Funeral Suit releases November 6th, 2020 via Ripple Music.


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