Album Review: Monster Magnet – “Mindfucker”
Scary to think that next year will be Monster Magnet’s 30th year as a band. In that time, there’s no doubt that Dave Wyndorf and his stoner metal crew have very much ploughed their own distinctive furrow through the rock landscape, and come up with some damn fine tunes en route. The trouble is, ten albums into their career nearly all bands reach a distinctive sound that they become comfortable with – no alarms, no surprises and keep the fans happy. Indeed, I could’ve pretty much summed up Mindfucker‘s predecessor, 2013’s Last Patrol in one sentence – well, it sounds like Monster Magnet, dunnit?
It’s perhaps a bit of a shock then when Rocket Freak, the opening track here, comes fair storming out of the traps with Wyndorf coming on all Rebel Yell era Billy Idol on the choruses. Soul is similarly fired up, blasted along by a chugging riff and pounding drums to good effect. However, the title track, I’m God and the languid seven-minute epic Drowning (which actually has a hint of the Doors’ beatnik gloominess in there of all things) see normal service resumed with chugging Sabbath riffs and Wyndorf’s snarling vocals marking this down as very identifiable. However, it’s definitely a step up quality wise from Last Patrol, as there’s an air of menace and energy there that was a bit absent on the last effort.
Ejection, which kicks off side two, steps up the tempo a bit and is a serviceable mid-tempo rocker, ditto the panic attack stricken Brainwashed. Want Some and and the sinister All Day Midnight are cut from the same strutting stoner rock as the band’s imperial mid-’90s output, before When The Hammer Comes Down signs this one off in suitably lurching style. Job well done.
Rather like its predecessors, don't expect anything out of the ordinary from Monster Magnet here, but at least Mindfucker is a good addition to their catalogue. It's not quite up to the standard of Dopes To Infinity or Powertrip obviously, but it's still one of their better efforts and probably their strongest for a good few years.