Monster Magnet ‘Last Patrol’ Review: Stoner rock pioneers get back to their psychedelic roots.
Monster Magnet make an about-face with their latest album Last Patrol; jettisoning their more straightforward riffing that has marked their discography ever since their commercial breakthrough Powertrip.
Instead, the band are at their most trippiest and psychedelic since 90’s masterwork Dopes To Infinity.
Eerie opener I Live Behind The Clouds has bandleader Dave Wyndorf navel gazing, but in his own inimitable style, with lyrics so full of metaphor that he remains intriguingly opaque: Nothing’s important yet everything is/If there ain’t no photo I just don’t exist/ And the winds below…so I make my home in the clouds. It’s a slow building track that eventually culminates in a psychedelic blow out.
On the title track, Wyndorf reclaims his macho mojo and takes off into overdrive along wide a killer riff; Oh mama don’t you know this is my last crusade/That’s right I’m cashing out your boy has got it made.
The song is almost 10 minutes, yet never drags, oscillating between pummeling riffs and cosmic shimmer.
In fact, no song on Last Patrol dips under the 4 minute mark, Their freak flag flies high and proud, recalling their earliest space rock efforts Spine Of God and Superjudge.
The closest thing to a single would be Mindless Ones, which has a riff as big as a tidal wave and Wyndorf belting with abandonment. And Hallelujah sounds like a spiritual revival where the punch has been spiked.
The production on Last Patrol is low-fi, dirty and rich with atmosphere. Longtime producer Matt Hyde was given the heave-ho with Wyndorf and guitarist Phil Caivano manning the controls.
Caivano’s contribution is key. He’s played rhythm guitar on past efforts, but takes up lead guitar duties as well, filling the void left by guitarist Ed Mundell who quit the band after recording 2010’s Mastermind.
He’s less flashy than Mundell, but he makes up for it with inspired cinematic flourish.
The album’s finest moment comes in the epic closer Stay Tuned, where Wyndorf vents on the constant flux of crappy pop music and internet chatter that has sidelined rock music’s place in pop culture: And I find myself staring at a screen/Wondering how far we’ve come since the death of cool/There ain’t no targets to aim for man, no mountains to climb, at least they’re not where they used to be/Why even keep it hard in a flatline world where every piece of dung is the next big thing? Will the good guys pull through somehow? Stay tuned ’til next time and we’ll see whats what.
With lyrics like that, and an album called Last Patrol, one could make the correlation that Wyndorf might be ready to call it a day (although this article appears to refute that). But the world needs a band like Monster Magnet more than ever. They remain timeless, and their own niche , making sonic day dreams that one is happy to get lost in. Stay tuned, indeed.
Want to own Monster Magnet’s Last Patrol on iTunes or Amazon? Click on the links below.
[amazon_image id=”B00DZPVS9O” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Last Patrol (Limited Edition Digipak)[/amazon_image]
And click here for an interview with Wyndorf where he discusses Monster Magnet’s first US tour in over 10 years.