The MC5 Set to Release First Studio Album in 50 Years, “Heavy Lifting”

MC5 fans: rejoice!

Videos by American Songwriter

The Michigan-born rock band has announced this week that it’s set to release its first album in 50 years, Heavy Lifting. And what’s more, is that the record will feature big-name guest appearances from the likes of Tom Morello and current Alice in Chains frontman William Duvall.

While MC5 has released several live records over the past decades, the band has only officially released two studio albums: Back in the USA (1970) and High Time (1971).

The new album is set to drop this fall, in October. The band’s frontman Wayne Kramer also announced that he’s taking the band on the road in May 2022 (see the full list of tour dates below).

“[With] nonstop touring, especially the last decade, I’ve come to understand that the music of the MC5 is as necessary as ever,” said Kramer in a statement. “It’s definitely high time to write and record new songs and to carry a message of uncompromising hard rock to fans around the world.”

Check out a teaser trailer from the group, which formally formed in 1963, below.

MC5, which never achieved monumental commercial success, is credited as being one of the more influential rock groups of the 20th century, helping to pave the way for rock, punk, and harder genres in the ’60s and ’70s. The band is known for its big riffs and larger-than-life stage presence.

Today, Kramer is just one of two surviving members of the original quintet. He last toured with MC5 in 2018, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was part of an all-star lineup that included Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, and Faith No More’s Billy Gould.

MC5’s 2022 lineup features Kramer on guitar, Brad Brooks on vocals, Vicki Randle on bass guitar, guitarist Stevie Salas and Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, according to Guitar World. Additionally, the group’s other surviving original member, drummer Dennis Thompson, won’t tour in 2022. But he does play the kit on the group’s new music.

For tickets to the upcoming dates, visit Kramer’s Facebook page.

MC5 2022 American tour:

5/05 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
5/06 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
5/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
5/08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
5/12 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s 
5/13 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
5/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
5/15 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

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