Monster Magnet ‘Milking the Stars’ Review

Monster Magnet ‘Milking the Stars’ Review: Dave Wyndorf has a blast retrofitting 2013’s ‘Last Patrol’

Milking the Stars is a “re-imagined” version of Last Patrol featuring four new songs and live tracks. This was a happy experiment for me. It’s not a re-mix record by the current definition. It’s more like Last Patrol in a “what if?” style alternate reality.

So goes the opening press statement from Monster Magnet mastermind Dave Wyndorf, while describing the band’s latest release Milking The Stars: a re-imagining of Last Patrol. It’s certainly the quirkiest release from the stoner rock pioneers, and that’s saying volumes.

2013’s ‘Last Patrol’ saw the bond jettison much of their late 90’s/early 2000’s alt-rock/arena rock swagger and return to their 60’s psychedelic influences.

With Milking the Stars, Wyndorf has set the clock back even further, dousing the original tunes with even murkier, hallucinogenic soundscapes.

No Paradise For Me, is a perfect example, taking the track Paradise through another stratosphere, with a longer intro that has the frontman bemoaning the 21st century in his own inimitable lyrical style: Their aint no paradise that I can see/It’s a parking lot as far as I can see/It’s just strip malls from sea to shining sea/And all that junk is useless to me/Unless I need another smart phone and some more KFC.

It creates an ambulatory trance making it their own Riders on the Storm . Many of the song titles hint at the deliberate changes to the tunes: Hallelujah Fuzz and Stomp, kicks up the distortion and percussion and The Duke (Full on Drums and Wah) makes a trippy tune even more so, taking you on an aural acidic magic carpet ride. And the remix of Last Patrol’s single Mindless Ones has its Hammond organ cranked up to 11.

The new tracks on the album continue the astral plane trajectory of past releases like Spine of God and Dopes To Infinity; the title track rides a liquid groove into a fuzz-rock rabbit hole, and Let The Circus Burn takes Last Patrol into more strident Iron Butterfly-style grandiosity.

Milking The Stars is a true oddity; most remix albums are about making songs more dance-friendly, while this is all about lulling you into a trance. It truly feels like Last Patrol was compressed and sent back into time, beaming out through a tinny A.M. car radio speaker in 1969.

Given its novel nature, Milking might not qualify as an essential purchase (the two tacked-on live performance tracks add to the crazy quilt feel, also proving they can still kick mammoth ass live), but for a fun sonic experiment, it will prove a treat for die-hard fans, and something to tide us over until the band’s next retro-adventure.

Want to own Milking The Stars: a re-imagining of Last Patrol on vinyl, cd or MP3? Click on the relevant iTunes and Amazon links below:

About SLIS

Middle Aged Gen-Exer obsessed with Alternative rock, metal, cult movies, comic books and cable TV.

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