XMARSX All Music Guide CD Review

Mars Williams has been a presence on the New York and Chicago experimental scenes for decades, working with everyone from European free improv pioneer Peter Brötzmann, to beloved new wave icons the Waitresses (those are his sax squeals and honks all over Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful and Bruiseology), and spending quite a bit of time as a member of the NRG Ensemble, Liquid Soul, and the Vandermark 5, among others. XMARSX is a collaboration between Williams -- in rock-oriented mode this time, with a band starring members of another Williams project, Slam -- and legendary singer-guitarist Wayne Kramer. The material, all written by Williams, with the exception of guitarist Greg Suran's quietly tense contribution, "Floaty," reminds the listener that one of Kramer's avowed missions in his pioneering days with the MC5 was to bring the free experimentalism and no-rules explorations of Sun Ra and Albert Ayler to heavy rock and roll; XMARSX sounds much closer to that inspired fusion of power and noise than the MC5 -- a monumental but much more conventional rock band -- ever got. Highly recommended to Wayne Kramer and Mars Williams fans alike.

~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide