"Locomotive," one of the bonus tracks from the forthcoming expanded edition of Above (the first and only album to be completed by Seattle-based rock supergroup Mad Season), premiered as a stream on RollingStone.com.
Fans pre-ordering the newly expanded edition of Above on iTunes will receive an instant "Locomotive" download with each order.
"I am excited to have fans hear 'Locomotive' for the first time. Mark did an amazing job singing over this track from the elusive Disinformation. 'Locomotive' hits like one!," said Mad Season guitarist Mike McCready.
"'Locomotive' is a song that best represents the direction Mad Season was going for on our second, unfinished album. Mark Lanegan's lyrics and powerful voice captures that time perfectly," said Barrett Martin, echoing McCready's sentiments. "The Mad Season collection is the best tribute we could pay to our dear friends Layne and Baker. We miss them terribly but the music they left behind is a great spiritual gift."
Formed in 1994, Mad Season was comprised of vocalist Layne Staley (Alice In Chains), guitarist Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), drummer/percussionist Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and bassist John Baker Saunders (The Walkabouts, Lamont Cranston Band). In 1995, the band released one extraordinary album, Above, an emblematic touchstone of the Seattle alternative rock scene, and began work a year later on a follow-up to be called Disinformation. Though much promising groundworkwriting, rehearsing and recordinghad been completed for Disinformation, the album was shelved due to Layne's deteriorating health. Fate subsequently took each musician in a different direction: Mike back to Pearl Jam and Barrett back to Screaming Trees. Tragically, both Baker (1999) and Layne (2002) passed away.
In 2012, the two remaining Mad Season members, Mike and Barrett, along with Above's original producer Brett Eliason, convened in Seattle to sift through the original magnetic tapes from that second album's sessions to revisit the unfinished songs. They called on Mark Lanegan to pen lyrics and sing on three of the best of those songs, including the mind-bending "Locomotive."
Mad Season was essentially Seattle's version of an extremely heavy blues band, anchored by the deep swinging rhythm section of Barrett's drums and Baker's bass lines, with Layne's haunting melodies and Mike's stadium-size guitar riffs soaring over the top. This unusual chemistry made the band absolutely unique in an era of post-grunge. In the almost 20 years since the original release of Above, new generations of music listeners have discovered the dark and lasting beauty of Mad Season.
"When I think of the triumph and tragedy of the Mad Season Above record and the few shows we played, I am overcome with emotion," said Mike McCready. "When people tell me it's their favorite record, it somehow makes the loss of Layne and Baker sting less. I believe they would have been proud that people still resonate with the music they created. Layne's lyrics are prophetic and deep and Baker's bass is subtle and tough. I hope people enjoy the re-release of the brief, elegant and dark Season we all shared."