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Monster Magnet - Spine of God (Reissue) Award winner

Monster Magnet
Spine of God (Reissue)
by Riccardo Gaffuri at 19 November 2017, 11:43 AM

Stoner rock is a widely used and abused term, born in the journalism area with “Blues for the Red Sun” by KYUSS and “Holy Mountain” by SLEEP, trying to contain and draw a line around a huge crowd of sound, music and musicians: KYUSS desert sound, FU MANCHU garage rock, ACID KING behemoth sounds, EARTHLESS ethereal atmospheres, with the only real common denominator in the psychedelia, minds wandering beyond self-conscience using substances to enable synesthesia and be able to write in music not only sounds, but colors, scents and tactile sensations.

Standing on a widespread veneration of 60’s and 70’s sound, from HENDRIX to BLACK SABBATH, this 90’s movement put itself as a recreator of those acid sensations: in this multi-faceted multitude, we cannot forget to mention MONSTER MAGNET. Led by charismatic Dave Wyndorf, with a punk past, this band was born in 1989 and released their first EP in 1991: we had to wait 1992 for their first full length “Spine of God,” now being reissued, along with their 1992 Tab EP, after 25 years, by Napalm Records.

Once “Pill Shovel” starts off, drums say hello, introducing a fuzzy riff contouring Wyndorf hallucinated vocals leading us into an out of earth trip. We are cast down back to earth with Medicine, first single originally chosen to present this release along with a stripped to the bone music video: here we can taste MONSTER MAGNET more rock’n’roll and aggressive side. “Nod Scene” dilates all the sounds, with an almost clean guitar playing a simple and eerie melody and Wyndorf voice as our guide to this space rock odyssey, made of colored liquid notes exploding in the fuzzy refrain, the same lysergic atmospheres we witness in the closing track “Ozium” (present in this reissue even in the demo version bonus track) and in the incredible title track “Spine of God,” where MONSTER MAGNET rock and psychedelic souls amazingly melt together.

“Zodiac Lung” is a calm ballad, with strong ties to BLACK SABBATH’s “Planet Caravan,” while with “Black Mastermind” and “Snake Dance” we are back to their garage side, raw and freeing sounds to encase this experience along the borders of some American sun scorched desert. “Sin's a Good Man's Brother” is a well rendered cover from legendary GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, able to shatter the listener with its distorted heavy riffs.  After this album MONSTER MAGNET would publish at least three great releases (“Tab” EP, “Superjudge” and “Dopes to Infinity”), always keeping their quality above average but gradually losing their psychedelic soul, before turning to a modern rock: this, however, will always remain as a milestone in the stoner rock and psych scene, perfect for a hot summer day car ride.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Pill Shovel
2. Medicine
3. Nod Scene
4. Black Mastermind
5. Zodiac Lung
6. Spine of God
7. Snake Dance
8. Sin's a Good Man's Brother
9. Ozium
10. Ozium (Demo version)
Dave Wyndorf - Vocals
Ed Mundell – Guitar
John McBain – Former Guitar
Phil Caivano - Guitar
Jim Baglino - Bass
Bob Pantella - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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