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Monster Magnet – From Profane Cosmic Genius to the Kings of Crapula

Posted by October 27th, 2004 No Comments »

Album Review – Monster Magnet
Monolithic Baby!
SPV/Steamhammer Records
By Matt Brown

I was first introduced to the profane cosmic genius of Monster Magnet in early 1991 by a Southern gentleman going by the name of Stuart Ellis. At the time, he was a roadie/creative consultant for alien surf gods Man…or Astroman? (a band currently enjoying what my buddy Morgan Crouton calls a “hibaticus”.)

Mr. Ellis and I begrudgingly shared a very attractive mutual friend from Auburn, Alabama who batted her eyelashes one summer day and convinced us to swap mixtapes through the mail. Stuart’s Maxell XL-II 90, quite frankly, set the standard for all mixtapes I’ve since received; it was my introduction to such bands as Big Chief, Steel Pole Bathtub and, on a track entitled “Nod Scene,” Monster Magnet. That song was the heaviest, druggiest, funniest damned thing I’d heard that year. I wanted more.

Album Review – Monster Magnet
Monolithic Baby!
SPV/Steamhammer Records
By Matt Brown

I was first introduced to the profane cosmic genius of Monster Magnet in early 1991 by a Southern gentleman going by the name of Stuart Ellis. At the time, he was a roadie/creative consultant for alien surf gods Man…or Astroman? (a band currently enjoying what my buddy Morgan Crouton calls a “hibaticus”.)

Mr. Ellis and I begrudgingly shared a very attractive mutual friend from Auburn, Alabama who batted her eyelashes one summer day and convinced us to swap mixtapes through the mail. Stuart’s Maxell XL-II 90, quite frankly, set the standard for all mixtapes I’ve since received; it was my introduction to such bands as Big Chief, Steel Pole Bathtub and, on a track entitled “Nod Scene,” Monster Magnet. That song was the heaviest, druggiest, funniest damned thing I’d heard that year. I wanted more.

Thirteen years later, I’ve lost Stuart Ellis’s cassette and I’m stuck with the 2004 release of Monolithic Baby!, a fading shadow of Monster Magnet’s past glory. Like a great mixtape you’d never think to make copies of, “profane cosmic genius” evidently isn’t a gift to take for granted…

Cassette Only! Matt Brown’s Top 5 Favorite (Surviving) Mixtapes
1. “Uncle Jesse’s Rookie Jug,” compiled by Hal Tiffany (1997)
2. “Revenge Of The Boba Fett B-Boy,” compiled by Nick Brown (2000)
3. “Pastor Of Muppets,” compiled by Mike Truax (1990)
4. “King Of Sock,” compiled by Derrick Hortsch (1996)
5. “Valentine’s Day 2000”, compiled by Rose Alexander (2000)

The dark and evil force behind Monster Magnet is a man from New Jersey named Dave Wyndorf, who used to write some of the most brilliantly demented song lyrics you’ll ever hear. Somehow 70s prog rock, Marvel comics, psychedelic drugs and porno movies all collided in his skull to create an irresistible, planet-eating superstud persona that was larger than the athletic supporter of Galactus himself.

Matt Brown’s Top 5 Favorite Monster Magnet Lyrics (this week…)
1. “My dick just got a million times bigger/I’ll be pumping Andromeda soon.” (“Elephant Bell” – Superjudge LP)
2. “I ain’t working for the man/I’m an Allosaurus, baby!/Well, I’m sucking up more karma than I need/so have a supernova on me…” (“Face Down” – Superjudge LP)
3. “I’m never gonna work another day in my life/The gods told me to relax; they said I’m gonna get fixed up right.” (“Powertrip” – Powertrip LP)
4. “Oil of love, swimming in a zodiac/Lion dance, pig juice, crown on a dingo king/I got a line to the stars, I’ve got a wire to myself/I’m gonna use all you pigs for something else…” (“Black Mastermind” – Spine Of GodLP)
5. “Hey, Ma’am, do you want my baby?/Hey, Satan, want a hole in your head?/The mighty ocean parts before me/I’m heading down to New Orleans.” (“Twin Earth” – Superjudge LP)

After hitting something of a creative lull with the 2001 release, God Says No, an album that also marked the end of their tumultuous relationship with both A&M Records and their drummer, Monster Magnet returned this year with Monolithic Baby!

On it, Dave seems to have lost touch with his past life reigning over the multiverse as “Tarzan, King of Mars” (though the album contains the highly imaginative bonus track “Tarzan, King of Mars 2004”) and is now appointed with a crucial new mission; banging snooty rich chicks and then making fun of them.

This doesn’t sound too bad until you get to the track “Monolithic” and the root of my irritation with this album – the lack of creativity. The inclusion of the line, “Keep spending all your money, and love yourself to death/’til Daddy takes the T-Bird away” in the chorus is so far freakin’ beneath the Monster Magnet I know and love, I hereby summarily crown this album “Crapula, King of Crap… 2004.” – (5/10)


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