BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Monster Magnet certainly takes its time making new music, but it’s usually worth the wait. That’s especially the case with Last Patrol, the New Jersey heavy rock icon’s tenth album. Leader Dave Wyndorf’s Marvel Comics-and-sci-fi visions swirl to full effect here, but that’s not what makes Last Patrol stand out in the catalog.
Maybe it’s the presence of new lead guitarist Garrett Sweeney, maybe it’s the kind of new lease on life that comes with a middle age its claimant didn’t expect to hit, but the band’s music sounds refreshed, as if the quintet has discovered its sound for the first time. “Strobe Light Beatdown” and “End of Time” stomp and swagger with a smirk and a swollen scrotum. “One Dead Moon,” “Mindless Ones” (nice Dr. Strange reference) and the title track blow space rock through the atmosphere like a crash-landing star destroyer. “Three Kingfishers,” “Paradise” and the sleazy “The Duke of Supernature” add acoustic textures to the Magnet’s testosteronic psych metal. The band even puts its own distinctive spin on country blues with “Hallelujah.”
Overall, Wyndorf and his cohorts sound enthusiastic and engaged, thrilled to be performing a set of songs as good as these. Last Patrol is easily Monster Magnet’s strongest LP in years.
DOWNLOAD: “Mindless Ones,” “Hallelujah,” “End of Time”