Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Monster Magnet - Mastermind

Changing gears again, I recently picked up this 2010 MM release, another heavy, stoner-rock slab'o'madness that doesn't let up during its entire run. The packaging is great - a hard cover sleeve with a full color lyric booklet included. The line-up here is main man Dave Wyndorf along with guitarists Ed Mundell and Phil Caivano (the former who left after this record was finished), drummer Bob Pantella and bassist Jim Bagling.

Musically and lyrically, this is more of MM's heavy metal (with the emphasis on heavy) stoner rock'n'roll - a mix of old school 70's rock and current punk'n'roll, with trippy lyrics based on drugs, comic books and sci-fi. The guitars are huge and noisey and often down-tuned to increase the heaviness. There are similarities to their previous releases - hardly surprising - with nods to records dating back to Spine of God and up to more current ones like Powertrip. Not everything is high energy, but everything is head-bangingly powerful and exists to smash your skull to pieces. There is less emphasis on the psychedelic than on many of the other records, although "The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby" and "Time Machine" are more atmospheric. Lots of crushers though, and "100 Million Miles" is right up there with their best! Mundell is riffing like a madmen on everything here, as well!

The album as a whole is not as good as some, but is still a tenacious and forceful contender. Start with the afore-mentioned Spine of God for a blast of psych-fuzz goodness and Powertrip for a more modern, heavy metal take on the concept, but this is a goodie.