Monster Magnet – Mastermind

January 01, 1970

(Napalm)

 

www.napalmrecords.com

 

Monster Magnet is not a household name. With the exception
of the minor hits “Space Lord” and “Negasonic Teenage Warhead,” the masses
steadily refuse to accept the New
Jersey band as the heir to the classic rock radio
throne it should be. Why not? Perhaps Mastermind,
the eighth MM LP, holds the key.

 

The album oozes with thick, meaty hard rock riffs and loud,
distorted guitars, courtesy the great Ed Mundell and returning axeman Phil
Caivano, so that’s no problem. Leader Dave Wyndorf’s voice is none the worse
for wear from his recent health issues – he’s still got the feral growl of an
acid-soaked bounty hunter on the make. No issue there. The setlist overflows
with strong, imaginative writing that is by turns whimsical (“Bored With
Sorcery,” “All Outta Nothin”), satirical (“Dig That Hole,” the title track,
both of which poke holes in 21st century pretentiousness), anthemic
(“Gods and Punks,” “100 Million Miles”) and, shockingly, even poignant (“Time
Machine,” “Ghost Story,” “The Titan That Cried Like a Baby”). Nothing lacking
in that department.

 

Longtime fans might lament the lack of overt space rock
psychedelics that give the band’s best records so much color, but MM makes up
for it with good tunes and powerhouse performances. So if there’s nothing to
complain about, what is there to prevent Mastermind from conquering the radio format for which it seems to be best suited? Blame
cowardly programmers and lazy audiences who crave familiarity over freshness
for that, because there’s little reason to reject a band firing on all
cylinders like Monster Magnet is on Mastermind.

 

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Gods
and Punks,” “Ghost Story,” “Dig That Hole,” “The Titan That Cried Like a Baby” MICHAEL
TOLAND

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