5 Horseshoe Magnets out of 10
White background. A big speaker cabinet. The planet Saturn. And some
kind of circuit board standing up, reminiscent of the black monolith
in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Perhaps that's why this cover
has a Stanley Kubrick kind of feel to it. Oh yeah, standing in front
of all this, wearing sunglasses, are the guys in Monster Magnet. The
singer guy is holding some kind of long white stick, not unlike something
you'd see a blind person using to navigate a sidewalk. The other
guys are holding onto their guitars. But wait -- where's their drummer?
7 Refrigerator Magnets out of 10
It's a 20 page booklet and it's pretty well put together. Everything
is printed in black and white, except the front and back covers, but
the paper quality is above average. It must be a higher bonded glossy
coated cardstock and is very thick. I think I could even tow my car
with it. Inside are thanks, credits, and all the lyrics interspersed
with photos of circuit boards, a guitar, the top part of a chick's ass,
a highway with palm trees in the background, that planet Saturn again,
individual band member shots, and one group photo in the center. Again,
it's just the 4 Monster Magnet guys from the cover, sitting on a couch,
but without any drummer. Where did he go?
Chick Magnets out of 10
I've never quite been able to put my finger on Monster Magnet.
Are they grunge? Are they cock rock? Groove metal? Stoner music? What?!
If you're trying to pigeonhole this band into a genre, this CD
will confuse and muddle your efforts even further. If you're already
a fan of these guys, or perhaps a kitten, you'll probably lap
up Monolithic Baby! like a bowl of warm milk. If you've
never been able to stand this band, then you probably won't like
their new album either. However, if you're on the fence about
these guys, you may want to check this out before concluding your opinion
of M.M. I found myself getting into a few of these songs much more than
I thought I would. The best tracks, in my opinion, are the disc's
first single, "Unbroken (Hotel Baby)," an unapologetic nod
to sex with chicks with low self-esteem, as well as the song "Supercruel,"
whose lyrics aren't all that different from "Unbroken."
Both these songs have a cock-rock vibe with tons of energy and I was
really surprised at how much they grabbed me the first time I heard
them. Other songs that aren't too bad are "Monolithic,"
"Ultimate Everything," and the very Sabbath-like "Radiation
Day." Plus, how can you not like a song called "Slut Machine?"
Surprisingly, Monolithic Baby! contains 3 cover songs: the
Velvet Underground/Lou Reed classic "Venus in Furs," a relatively
obscure track from Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore's first
solo album called "There's No Way Out Of Here," and
another called "The Right Stuff." NO, that's not a cover
of the New Kids On The Block classic (though I would've loved
to hear Monster Magnet do that!). It's actually a song from former
Hawkwind singer Robert Calvert's first solo album from way back
in 1974. I don't know shit about Hawkwind except that Lemmy was
in that band before he was in Motörhead. Also, the American release
of this disc includes 2 bonus tracks: that Lou Reed song and "King
of Mars 2004," a heavier re-make of a song that appeared on Monster
Magnet's 1995 album Dopes to Infinity. Anyhow, some of
these songs are cool, some are ho-hum and most are somewhat in between.
But why would anyone give a fuck what I have to say about it? Listen
to it and judge for yourself.
Comments: I must admit I'm
a bit surprised that Monster Magnet has been around as long as they
have, considering their first album came out way back in 1990. They've
survived major changes in the music industry, record labels, band members,
fashion trends and lack of radio support in all kinds of markets. How
do they do it? By sticking to their guns and not compromising whatever
values they adhere to, I suppose. Maybe that has something to do with
M.M. leaving A&M Records and moving camp to the European-based label
SBV. Anyhow, the players jam with a post-grunge stoner rock kind of
style, though you can hear elements of old KISS and Sabbath woven amongst
the riffs and chords. Longtime drummer Michael Wildwood also plays on
this album, but he either quit or got kicked out of the band before
this album was released. Aha! That's why he's not in any
of the photos. He's since been replaced by former Raging Slab
skinbanger Bob Pantella. And singer Dave Wyndorf still sounds pretty
much like he always has: a voice that is sometimes gritty, sometimes
smooth and soulful -- metaphorically like sandpaper coated with KY Jelly.
Plus he looks a lot like John Kay from Steppenwolf. Perhaps I've
just hit the nail on the head -- with their blend of hard rock and psychedelia,
Monster Magnet could very well be a modern-day Steppenwolf.