Thursday, 22 March 2018

ALBUM REVIEW & TRACK PREMIERE: Monster Magnet, "Mindfucker"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 23/03/2018
Label: Napalm Records

If you’re ready for a simple space rock record that’s sturdy, hooky and well written, take “Mindfucker” out for a spin. 

“Mindfucker” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Rocket Freak
2). Soul
3). Mindfucker
4). I’m God
5). Drowning
6). Ejection
7). Want Some
8). Brainwashed
9). All Day Midnight
10). When The Hammer Comes Down

The Review:

Monster Magnet’s evolution has been fun to follow. Back in the day, when front man and key driving force of the band, Dave Wyndorf, got his band of psychedelic gods together, they got weird. As time progressed, the ‘Magnet remained a psychedelic powerhouse, but one that consistently moved forward from where they began. The days of long, drawn out and druggy jams are behind us. Now, we’re reveling in a period of shorter, leaner songs with big hooks. Fans of Monster Magnet are sometimes divided in the camps of “early” and “modern” Monster Magnet. There’s no need for these camps, though, because Monster Magnet has always been - and will always be - a band that knows when it’s time to get weird and when it’s time to rock out. Isn’t that what stoner rock is all about?’

So it’s now 2018, almost five years removed from Monster Magnet’s last studio album, “Last Patrol.” Where that album, and certainly the redux albums that followed it, brought both hooks and jams to the fold, this new album, “Mindfucker” is all about the rock and the roll. “Mindfucker” tells a simple story to the tune of compact riffs and songs that move pretty quickly. About half of the songs are around the 4 minute mark, which reflects the simple song structures.

But rest assured, simple isn’t bad, by any means. In the case of “Mindfucker,” simple is even somewhat a breath of fresh air. There’s that MC5 vibe in these songs and punk rock is never far out of reach. The hooks are firmly mounted and effortlessly carry the weight of the songs. Bob Pantella and Chris Kosnik play their asses off, running the sturdy rhythms up and down the dance floor.

Like any good Monster Magnet set list, the weirder tracks are spread out evenly between all the ragers. “I’m God” (exclusively streaming below) rears its head after the three songs that open the “Mindfucker” party. This track is the largest of the bunch, with a huge chorus that has Wyndorf stepping to the mic to proclaim that he, in fact, is God. Kind of a strange claim to make, sure, but Wyndorf’s lyrics have always been pretty out there, rather arrogant and more or less out of this world. After all, he delivers these lines with such conviction that he makes the lyrics work. The song uses every second of its 6:16 run time to fly off into space, in only the way that Monster Magnet knows how; Wyndorf at the helm, one foot on the monitor, colorful, flashing lights everywhere…all seen through a fish-eye lens.

The songwriting aside, the production of this album is also top notch. “Mindfucker” is a party, despite some of the themes in the lyrics. The way the guitars sound and how this is mixed with Pantella’s cymbal work, makes this record sound rambunctious. “Mindfucker” even goes so far as to sound like a live recording, one that has Wyndorf pulling in the crowd and having the audience scream their lungs out for the entire duration of the record.

If you’re ready for a simple space rock record that’s sturdy, hooky and well written, take “Mindfucker” out for a spin. Go on, let loose of the hopes that Monster Magnet are going to make another “Spine of God.” The band’s moved on and is having a great time doing it. Join them for the ride, you won’t regret it.

“Mindfucker” is available here

Band info: facebook || bandcamp