Spacelord “Spacelord” Album Review + Stream…

Spacelord

Spacelord – Digital Download

Self released:  October 10, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Lineup:
Bass: Chris Cappiello
Drums: Kevin Flynn
Vocals: Ed Grabianowski
Guitar: Richard Root

 Tracklist:
Five Days in a Hole (5:34)
That Witch Rises (6:56)
Livewire (4:11)
Warlike Prelude (1:16)
Warlike (6:15)
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 la Queens of the Stone Age, Brant Bjork and Kyuss; and Stoner/Sludge Metallers a la Soundgarden 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.

Logo

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.

Band Pic


Monster Magnet Monday “Mastermind” Limited Edition + Videos + Review…

Monster Magnet

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.

monstermagnet band pic_Mastermind

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:

  1. “Hallucination Bomb” – 5:27
  2. “Bored with Sorcery” – 4:02
  3. “Dig That Hole” (Wyndorf, Phil Caivano) – 5:34
  4. “Gods and Punks” – 5:32
  5. “The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby” – 3:36
  6. “Mastermind” – 5:08
  7. “100 Million Miles” – 5:01
  8. “Perish in Fire” – 4:42
  9. “Time Machine” – 5:30
  10. “When the Planes Fall from the Sky” – 5:46
  11. “Ghost Story” – 5:20
  12. “All Outta Nothin'” – 4:29
  13. “Watch Me Fade” (Bonus Track) – 3:05
  14. “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


Monster Magnet – Superjudge Review + Videos + More…

Monster Magnet Monday – Part 2

Superjudge – Vinyl // CD // DD

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

Disc: 1

  1. Cyclops Revolution
  2. Twin Earth
  3. Superjudge
  4. Cage Around the Sun
  5. Elephant Bell
  6. Dinosaur Vacume
  7. Evil (Is Going on)
  8. Stadium
  9. Face Down
  10. Brainstorm
  11. Black Balloon

Disc: 2

  1. Unsolid
  2. Medicine
  3. Nod Scene
  4. Superjudge
  5. Dinosaur
  6. Superjudge
  7. Freak Shop
  8. Murder
  9. Intro
  10. Snake Dance
  11. Twin Earth
  12. Nod Scene
  13. Evil

 

“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.

Band Pic_1992_SuperjudgeCirca 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)


Monster Magnet – Powertrip Album Review + Videos…

Monster Magnet Monday – Part 1

Powertrip – Vinyl // CD // DD

A&M Records – Released June 16th, 1998

**Currently Available on Napalm Records**

Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez

 

Line Up for Powertrip:
Dave Wyndorf – vocals, guitar
Ed Mundell – guitar
Philip Caivano – guitar
Joe Calandra – bass
Jon Kleiman – drums

 

Tracklist:
“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.

Links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet
Napalm Records – https://shop.napalmrecords.com/monster-magnet-powertrip-cd.html (Album Available here and other outlets)