So it would seem Black Friday 2018 has got some very decent reissues or first time on vinyl releases set for this week. One such gem is MC5 ‘Thunder Express’. A compilation of the bands material this is pressed on Green and Red splatter (very nice too) its been released to coincide with MC50’s tour dates and shows what an absolute thunder Express the MC5 were. From the incendiary fueled ‘Kick Out The Jams’ to the inclusion of bonus material that is the early singles ‘Looking At You’ and ‘Borderline’. An essential purchase? Why not if youre an avid collector of the band then of course this is its also housed with an inner bag that has the White Panthers ’10 point programme’ as well as brief interview and sleeve notes the live material is culled from a French TV performance from ’72 so right towards the end of the bands reign but don’t for a moment think they had lost any of their boundless energy or verve because they hadn’t. It’s not only about the incredible guitar riffs or that voice but the rhythm section was absolutely thunderous and incendiary and still an inspiration today.
‘Thunder Express’ bookends nicely the bands recording output first four tracks from those debut two singles and then the live performance in France there can be no denying the MC5 contribution to music, alternative music, punk and garage rock was and is immense. As well as their most famous song ‘Kick Out The Jams’ you have an extended workout of ‘Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa’, Ramblin Rose’ and the sleazy blues jaunt that is ‘Motor City Is Burning’.
These might not be the best versions of the songs that can be up for debate but even in the twilight of their existence, they had the chops to devastate and between Tyner, ‘Sonic’ Smith, Kramer, Davis, Moorhouse and Thompson they did indeed kick out the jams motherfuckers! As for the clicks n pops on ‘Looking At You’ that makes me smile – like the original tapes were ever going to be located and as the levels peak and dip that’s another reason to make this a bit special and another reason to not ignore RSD in 2018.