Rocket Freak (3:30)
I’m God (6:16)
Want Some (5:49)
All Day Midnight (3:59)
When The Hammer Comes Down (5:48)
Despite this passage that would suggest the contrary, Monster Magnet is a band that needs no introduction. Dave Wyndorf’s masterful Stoner Metal Legend boasts a gargantuan overarching influence that stretches from Queens of the Stone Age to the undisputed emperor of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee himself. Well within the midst of a long and fruitful career, a more mature Monster Magnet have brought themselves into the modern era with a personal spin with the brand new Mindfucker.
While it is true that Monster Magnet is more mature, it cannot be said that their rage has been quelled. Dave Wyndorf and his cohorts are still ripe with fury, especially on the incredible “I’m God”, in which Vocalist Wyndorf takes on the role of a particularly vengeful Old Testament-era God, who has had more than enough of modern society, ready to remind Earth’s unknowing citizens of his power. This tune is very indicative of the direction Monster Magnet has taken with Mindfucker: Furious, Raw, and powerful, with a healthy dose of the strangeness that has defined Monster Magnet throughout their career. Therefore, if you’ve listened to Monster Magnet before, you likely know what you’re in for with this one.
With Mindfucker, Monster Magnet have progressed their sound while still staying familiar enough to be recognizable as a Monster Magnet album. It is heavy, melodic, and fun, with enough lyrical fire to make you believe that there’s a reason this album exists. Mindfucker definitely earns its in the lofty echelons of Monster Magnet’s oeuvre, making it a must purchase for Stoner Metal fans.
Current Members: Chris Kosnik – bass, vocals (currently of Monster Magnet, formerly of Godspeed and Black NASA) Bob Pantella – drums, percussion (formerly of Raging Slab, currently of Monster Magnet, Riotgod, Cycle of Pain) Finn Ryan – guitar, vocals (formerly of Core)
Previous Releases: The Atomic Bitchwax (1999) TAB-2 (2000) Spit Blood EP (2002) TAB-3 (2005) Boxriff EP (2006) TAB-4 (2007) The Local Fuzz ‘single’ (2011) Gravitron (2015)
Veterans all, referring to the members of this long-running unit, that all started as a side-project in the summer of 1999 and has since evolved into this raging storm comprised of three forces that meld seamlessly into the animal that stands before us, represented by the band’s seventh offering, “Force Field”.
Twelve songs and thirty-four minutes make up this release and is by far the strongest release yet from The Atomic Bitchwax aka TAB, bringing all of the honing, sharpening and precision born of endless touring here in the States and internationally over the last 18 years together to blast you out of your seat as never before. Having been previously described as a band that ‘specializes in high-octane, 70’s based hard rock, space rock and psychedelia’, TAB has taken that base formula from the edge of the century and brought it to the front in ALL of it’s sonic glory.
From the drum intro of “Hippie Speedball” through the histrionics of “Humble Brag“, there is no lack of bravado tinged with sheer brilliance of power chords, psycho-quick time shifts, hyper-rumbling bass lines and all of the lyrical twists and turns we have come to love and expect from TAB and tracks such as “Tits And Bones” fill that order with ease. Closer “Liv A Little” let’s those 70’s root fly high with the keyboard fills and an over-modulated vocal line that brings you to the sound and feel of what is must have been like at a T-Rex crowd with the energy that is necessary for the listeners of this century.
Two stand outs to me from this instant classic and MUST-HAVE for the long-time fans and the ones just discovering this trio are “Super Highway” with it’s phase-shifted drum intro into a high-speed jaunt with lyrics to match is one of those songs that begs to be played at full-volume and gets your heart racing alongside, trying to keep pace and would be a great track to feature as the lead off, in MY opinion. The second is “Fried, Dyed and Laying To The Side“, an instrumental romp that allows each guy to shine in their own mastery of their individual ‘weapon’ which only brightens the genius of this release.
If you were expecting something closer to a Monster Magnet record, hope you weren’t too disappointed. While the interweaving and endless touring with each band has not stopped and will more than likely not change anytime soon, The Atomic Bitchwax have proven time and again that they are their OWN entity and their finest-hour to date is upon them with “Force Field”. See ’em if they come anywhere close and convert the ‘unknowing’ in your circle.
Bass: Chris Cappiello
Drums: Kevin Flynn
Vocals: Ed Grabianowski
Guitar: Richard Root
Five Days in a Hole (5:34)
That Witch Rises (6:56)
Warlike Prelude (1:16)
Hollow Moon (4:11)
The Old Road (3:09)
Black Sword (4:28)
Review: Monster Magnet is a band whose far-reaching influence on the world of Rock music is not always properly appreciated. Without them, such Hard Rock giants such as Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal may have never seen the light of day, and yet Monster Magnet has never become the household name that they probably should be. After all, the school of Monster Magnet is a deceptively large one, and an excellent recent graduate of that school has recently surfaced with the name of Spacelord.
There are Monster Magnet followers of two basic varieties: Desert Rockers a laQueens of the Stone Age, Brant Bjork and Kyuss; and Stoner/Sludge Metallers a laSoundgarden and Red Fang. Spacelord straddles this line a bit, but tends to adhere a bit more to the Stoner Metal side of things. As a matter of fact, Spacelord’s self-titled debut is quite reminiscent of the early days, sounding like they’d be right at home among the track-list of Louder than Love, especially tracks like the 6-minute sludgey atom bomb “Warlike”, which opens with lots of reverb and closes with sinewy guitar lines that Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil would be proud of.
Spacelord is first and foremost a very genuine affair. There’s nothing absolutely perfect here. It is perfect in its imperfection. That’s not to say the music is bad – in fact, it’s very much the opposite – But a huge amount of personality is found in those little moments where a backing vocal is a little flat, or a guitar comes in the tiniest bit late. This is not a tightly-composed Progressive Rock opus, and it shouldn’t be. This is an intentionally organic album. The performance here is not done by robots programmed to hit every note with surgical precision, it is done by humans – real living humans, and the interplay and charm associated with such a work breaths through this album impeccably.
Spacelord is the album that it needs to be and not an iota less. With their very first record, Spacelord has asserted a very real identity for themselves. It is one that regales you with the feeling of the early 90’s, when Stoner Metal was at its absolute finest. It gives you hope for another golden era that Monster Magnet and Kyuss would likely welcome with open arms.
Mastermind Limited Edition + 2 Bonus Tracks – Released October 25th, 2010
Napalm Records – Vinyl // CD // DD
Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler
Space Rock Voodoo
In the years leading up to “Mastermind” “Monster Magnet” had transformed into a 5 member outfit with the addition of Phil Caivano on guitar to give the band a more dynamic range in sound. They also went from Atpeek Music to A&M Records where they went Gold in the US with their 1998 album “Powertrip”, moved to “SPV” then in 2009 signed with “Napalm Records” then released “Mastermind” in 2010. Lead guitarist Ed Mundell parted ways after 18 years with the band “to collaborate with other musicians and Producers”, forming The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic. Following their European tour replacing him was Garrett Sweeny.
For some a review of Monster Magnets 8th album “Mastermind” might be kinda old hat. But for me and anyone else who has never listened to it, “Mastermind” is brand new. Having never heard it I chose to do this review just so I could have an excuse to listen to it when we came up with our nifty Monster Magnetic Monday Idea.
What came to my mind when I first listened to this is when it had been made Monster Magnet had been together for 20 years when most bands are lucky if they manage two albums. Like many bands that last that long they have managed to keep their core sound that makes them the band they are but change with the times. Unlike Superjudge and earlier albums “Mastermind” has a bluesy feel to it musically and lyrically with more mature subject matter. All in all a solid album. Some the songs I like most are ‘Bored with Sorcery’, ‘Gods and Punks,’ ‘Mastermind,’ ‘100 Million Miles,’ ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Ghost Story.’
Limited Edition Track Listing:
“Hallucination Bomb” – 5:27
“Bored with Sorcery” – 4:02
“Dig That Hole” (Wyndorf, Phil Caivano) – 5:34
“Gods and Punks” – 5:32
“The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby” – 3:36
“Mastermind” – 5:08
“100 Million Miles” – 5:01
“Perish in Fire” – 4:42
“Time Machine” – 5:30
“When the Planes Fall from the Sky” – 5:46
“Ghost Story” – 5:20
“All Outta Nothin'” – 4:29
“Watch Me Fade” (Bonus Track) – 3:05
“Fuzz Pig” (Bonus Track) – 3:13
Line Up for Mastermind: Dave Wyndorf- Guitar, Vocals Philip Caivano – Guitar Ed Mundell-Guitar Bob Pantella – Drums Jim Baglino – Bass
For Fans of: Fu Manchu, White Zombie, Masters of Reality, VAST, Queens of the Stone Age, Rob Zombie, Biohazard, Trouble, Danzig, Burning Brides
Originally Released on A&M Records – April 6th, 1993
Re-Released (Import Deluxe Edition) – February 19, 2016
Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler
Superjudge Line Up: Dave Wyndorf – vocals, rhythm guitar (1989–present)
Ed Mundell – lead guitar (1992–2010)
Jon Kleiman – drums (1991–2001)
Joe Calandra – bass guitar (1991–2001)
Deluxe Edition – Import
Cage Around the Sun
Evil (Is Going on)
“Back from Venus For The Cyclops Revolution”
Formed in Red Bank New Jersey Monster Magnet has gone through several line up changes since it was founded by Dave Wyndorf Vox//guitar, John McBain guitar and Tim Cronin Vox // drums. Rather than write several pages about the bands history I am going leave learning the bands full history up to you, the fan. It is out there and not hard to find. In 1992 when the band Monster Magnet (named after a Wham-O toy Dave Wyndorf loved playing with as a child) released its second album Superjudge, Monster Magnet was: Dave Wyndorf -Vox//rhythm guitar, Ed Mundell- lead guitar, Jon Kleiman – drums, and Joe Calandra – bass guitar.
Circa 1992 from left to right Jon Kleiman, Dave Wyndorf, Ed Mundell, Joe Calandra
Eons ago or that’s how it feels sometime when I was a soldier and, though the Army had shaved my head and put me in a uniform, they didn’t really change me. I just let them think they did. I was still me and still a metal-head. Joining the military and being stationed in Germany put some cash in my pocket and got me exposed to stuff I had never heard before.
At the time metal seemed to be on the down turn as MTV claimed Generation X was going bat shit crazy for grunge. Thankfully Germany had a roaring metal scene and the metal fans that packed the clubs to hear their favorite underground bands and didn’t care what MTV had to say. Which is why Monster Magnet blew up in Germany more they did in the United States. It also helped their the band’s first full length, cult classic, “Spine of God” on longstanding German label Glitterhouse Records.
Unfamiliar with Monster Magnet at the time I recall finding their album Superjudge in my local PX (Post Exchange) and thinking with a cover and name like that this has potential to rock and it did just that. When I returned to my Barracks and put the CD into my stereo I was blown away by something that sounded like 60’s Psychedelic rock gone metal. While I’d heard some far out stuff, Monster Magnet was unlike any metal band I had heard before. Listening was like swimming in a sonic ocean as the band fearlessly used sound rather than stick to the tried trued and tested metal riffs. Among the songs that most impressed me were ‘Cyclops Revolution,’ ‘Superjudge,’ ‘Cage Around The Sun,’ ‘Dinosaur Vacume’ and the band’s covers of Hawkwind’s ‘Brainstorm.’
Current Line Up: Dave Wyndorf – vocals, rhythm guitar (1989–present)
Phil Caivano – rhythm guitar, lead guitar (1998–present)
Bob Pantella – drums (2004–present)
Garrett Sweeny – lead guitar (2010–present)
Chris Kosnik – bass guitar (2013-present)
Line Up for Powertrip: Dave Wyndorf – vocals, guitar
Ed Mundell – guitar
Philip Caivano – guitar
Joe Calandra – bass
Jon Kleiman – drums
“Crop Circle” – 5:32
“Powertrip” – 3:31
“Space Lord” – 5:55
“Temple of Your Dreams” – 4:35
“Bummer” – 7:35
“Baby Götterdämmerung” – 3:09
“19 Witches” – 4:02
“3rd Eye Landslide” – 5:10
“See You in Hell” – 4:05
“Tractor” – 3:26
“Atomic Clock” – 5:06
“Goliath and the Vampires” – 4:13
“Your Lies Become You” – 4:18
By the time 1998 came along, Monster Magnet had steadily been producing and improving upon their brand of stoner/space/psych/hard rock for eight years. After two EP’s and three full length releases, Monster Magnet had solidified themselves as a top act in the hard rock scene. Following the momentum gathered from their amazing Dopes to Infinity album, Powertrip, their fourth full length, saw Monster Magnet firing on all cylinders and at the top of their game. Songs suddenly started appearing throughout pop culture. Talladega Nights using “Spacelord” on their soundtrack, for example.
Written mostly in Las Vegas, in a relatively short amount of time, Powertrip benefited with a more consistent feel despite bridging the diversity of the stoner heaviness found on Spine of God, the psychedelic flow of Superjudge, and the more metal sounding Dopes to Infinity. The track list flows smoothly from one style to another. The first four tracks: ‘Crop Circles,’ ‘Powertrip,’ ‘Spacelord’ and ‘Temple of Your Dreams’ blast out of the gate with their trademark heavy riffs. Dave Wyndorf’s rhythms fitting in perfectly with Ed Mundell’s leads, which here, solidified his role as a premier guitarist in the genre. ‘Bummer’ transitions the album into the more hypnotic, psychedelic tunes of ‘Baby Gotterdammerung,’ ’19 Witches’ and ‘3rd Eye Landslide.’ The importance of Joe Calandra (bass) and Jon Kleiman (drums) cannot be understated, as they provide a solid rhythmic backbone throughout the whole ride.
‘See You in Hell’ was inspired by a bus ride Wyndorf took from New York City to New Jersey when some fellow passengers told him that they killed their baby and buried it somewhere in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Shocked, Wyndorf got out of the bus. One can’t help but wonder what kind of other horror stories are out there among us. ‘Tractor’ and ‘Atomic Clock’ continue the return of the heavier tunes before the album closes out with the subdued tones of ‘Goliath and the Vampires’ and ‘Your Lies Become You.’ All throughout, Wyndorf’s quirky lyrics are open to interpretation. His writing style being a staple throughout their entire lyrical output. On the surface seemingly having no cohesion or focus, but once you delve deeper into his prose, you start to realize that some grey matter is required to take in the full effect of what he is attempting to convey. Powertrip mostly deals with what Wyndorf observed while in Las Vegas, yet it is written in ways that could apply to everyday life in general.
At the time Powertrip was released in 1998, most bands were producing albums that had more than 12 tracks on them. Quantity seemed to rule over quality. Monster Magnet was no exception to the quantity, yet their quality here never suffered. They managed to incorporate the many facets explored on previous albums to produce a truly engaging listening experience, a particularly unique journey that is curious, raving, yet most of all amusing to listen to. As mentioned on the opening track, “I got an itch in my cosmic pocket and it won’t go away.” And personally, I’m not sure I would ever want it to.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet
Napalm Records – https://shop.napalmrecords.com/monster-magnet-powertrip-cd.html (Album Available here and other outlets)