Monster Magnet - 'Mastermind' (Napalm Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Monday, 01 November 2010 05:00

Monster_MagnetYou know what?  If I'm totally honest, the single best thing about 'Mastermind' for me is that this album exists at all.  Having followed Monster Magnet's career closely since first discovering their superb 'Dopes to Infinity' album back in 1995, the recent personal battles that band mainman Dave Wyndorf has been having with depression certainly had me wondering if 2007's '4-Way Diablo' might in fact have been the last album from one of my favourite groups of Sonic Terrorists.


It appears however that switching record labels to Napalm Records in 2009, as well as Dave coming to terms with what he described recently as his "emotional cancer" were the sparks that helped re ignite the rock flame in the Space Lord's belly, and as a result we now thankfully have in our possession the twelve track behemoth known as 'Mastermind'. (It's worth noting that while they are still available there is also a Limited Edition format of 'Mastermind' that adds two tracks to the standard tracklisting, as well as a Deluxe Box Set that adds a USB stick full of musical and visual delights).


Onto the album then, and the first thing that is immediately obvious as opening track 'Hallucination Bomb' literally explodes from your speakers is that Monster Magnet sound huge once again. The bass riff alone that ushers in the album's lead track conjures up visions of Lemmy wondering who's been hijacking his backline while he's recently been resting his bones. Thunderous stuff that is indeed the quintessential sound of Monster Magnet.


Dave's knack for penning a catchy chorus has also once again returned to the forefront and this has never been more evident than in the soon to be considered Monster Magnet classics 'Bored With Sorcery', '100 Million Miles', 'and 'Gods And Punks', the latter also being the lead single and video from the album. 


At his most creative Dave Wyndorf has never been afraid to experiment with his band's song writing dynamic, and this is something he does on 'Mastermind' to great effect with the melancholic hum of 'The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby' and the brooding fragility of 'Time Machine' that itself is the perfect title song for the spaghetti sc-fi movie Wyndorf (or anyone else for that matter) has yet to write.


The "huge sound" I mentioned at the start of this review along with the epic subject matters contained within 'Mastermind' ('When The Planes Fell From The Sky' anyone?) brings a vision of apocalyptic inevitability to proceedings and you can't help but wonder if Mr Wyndorf is actually privy to some information he's not supposed to share with us.  However, with a full European tour about to kick off later this week I think we are safe, at least for now, to celebrate Monster Magnet's most complete sounding album in over a decade.  So get along and see the band deliver this enthused and vibrant set of songs at a venue near you soon.


It really is great to have the Space Lord back, and in 'Mastermind' Monster Magnet are once again ready to take on all pretenders to their Space Rock throne.... and you just know that Monster Magnet as going to win. 


Essential stuff.