So Monster Magnet has been doing their thing since 1989, right? And while I've heard of them many times before I've never managed to get around to listening to any of their stuff. And now, with the retro thing still chugging along, their latest album drops on my desk for review. So where does it fall? Let's see.
Seeming to attempt to answer the question "What if Jim Morrison had replaced Ozzy as lead singer of Black Sabbath after their first album?", Monster Magnet does the old school vibe as good as anyone in the business, that much is clear. There's just a great classic sound with Monster Magnet that is as authentic as anything else out there - perhaps because they've been doing it for over 25 years now - and they continue the trend with their 9th studio album, Last Patrol. Lead singer/songwriter (and sole remaining original member) Dave Wyndorf was a teenager when Black Sabbath's first album came out, and it would seem to have had a great effect on him. This is some really great 70s era psychedelic rock here, including some nice moody, acoustic stuff that reminds me of old Pink Floyd, and a bitchin' cover of Donovan's Three Kingfishers. I feel silly for not having bothered to check them out before.
As a lyricist, Dave explores the standard philosophical issues of life through sci-fi and archetypal, comic book imagery with a voice that sounds authentic and passionate. I can't claim that the music is trancendent or revelatory in any big way, but it does what you expect this kind of music to do, and after doing for this long, it's nice to know they're still going strong.
The Bottom Line: Monster Magnet does the old school thing while being old enough to actually be an old school thing. If you dig the classic tunes of bands like The Doors, Black Sabbath, or even newer ones like Opeth, you'll probably dig some Last Patrol pretty well.
Tracks To Make You Want To Break Out The Patchouli: I Live Behind The Clouds, Three Kingfishers, Paradise and Stay Tuned
- Genghis isn't actually that surprised he didn't know about Monster Magnet...