Forgotten Album of the Month: Monster Magnet
It’s hard to believe I haven’t done anything about this band but it’s time for that to change. By the time 1998 rolled around, the stoner/sludge metal band Monster Magnet had gone as far as they could with their trademark sound and they realized that it was time for a change. So frontman Dave Wyndorf, suffering from writer’s block went to Las Vegas for a few months and wrote what became his band’s breakthrough album, Powertrip.
Now most people remember the band for “Space Lord,” with its’ hip hop inspired video but there is so much more to recommend on the album besides the throwaway pop hit. The best track on the record is the title track, which I heard in the fall of ’98 with a video filled with footage from the now forgotten Kurt Russell action “Soldier” and I was riveted because the song was so damn heavy and covered in riffs. The lyrics, as with most of Wyndorf’s words are as true now as they were when he wrote them because there are many, many people who are suffering from powertrips who need to be brought back down to size.
While the entire album is good, some songs like “Tractor” and “Goliath and the Vampires” are a little weak, but there’s songs like that on every Monster Magnet record. It turns out the coolest songs on the record are the midtempo tracks, which is something that the band really hadn’t tried before. “See You in Hell” talks about the disposal of infants in an almost first person narrative with light backing from the rest of the band that makes you wonder what is wrong with the world. But probably the second best song is the album closer “Your Lies Become You” with its mellow vocal delivery and unbelievable backing, which sounds like a lounge band from the depths of hell. That’s exactly the type of vibe you want to get from a band this heavy and fucked up.
Powertrip ended up going gold on the strength of “Space Lord,” but the rest of the record seems to have fallen through the cracks and disappeared and that’s a damn shame but that’s what’s happened with the band’s career period. It seems that every time they release a record like 2010’s Mastermind, people always say “Wow, I didn’t even know this band was still together.” Statements like that have to stop in order for a band to thrive and prosper.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dscfeQOMuGw (Space Lord)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9hQ2C5d9Qk (See You In Hell)