March 21, 2018 Monster Magnet – Mindfucker (Album Review)
More often than not, Rock bands that have a solid history of over twenty five years and beyond under their belt carry with them a stacked, packed track record of trials and tribulations that bleed through in their music. In the case of New Jersey’s Monster Magnet, they are just shy of 30 years of existence, and through the lineup changes, they have remained strong behind the leadership of Vocalist/Guitar Dave Wyndorf.
Wyndorf, holding strong to his roots, despite his own personal battle against his own demons, following recovering from an overdose 12 years prior, he has proven that drugs are not a creative force behind the band. Aiding in the uphill battle is longtime Guitarist Phil Caivano along with Bob Pantella on drums, Garrett Sweeny on lead guitar, and newest member since the year 2013, Chris Kosnik on bass guitar. Now 5 long years since their last studio album, Monster Magnet are back with their eleventh studio album, Mindfucker.
A follow-up to 2013’s Last Patrol, it has not been that long since Monster Magnet offered anything to fans, let us not forget 2015’s Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux), a reworking of material previously included on 2010’s Mastermind. Set for release on Friday, March 23, 2018 through Napalm Records, Mindfucker consists of 10 new tracks that are a breath of fresh, psychedelic air, to say the least.
The album starts out with the down-to-earth and catchy “Rocket Freak.” A solid opener, it devours the listeners’ cravings within the first few minutes before jumping into the psychedelic and bluesy tones of “Soul, ” a song which travels to the outer realms of consciousness in under 6 minutes. Thereafter, one of the strongest tracks of all is actually the title-track, “Mindfucker,” with its ever rampant guitar interworking and friendly beats of entrapment. The passion and aggression behind the song is clear and it plays right into the Stoner Rock territory as Wyndorf shouts out the lyrics, “Why you gotta fuck with my head?”
Soaring along, “I’m God” is followed by “Drowning,” and the message again is clear, while the direct, yet creative approach is not only stimulating, but also intriguing. Again, the clean and crisp vocals and lyrics keep the attention where it was intended while the empowering guitars crush anyone who stands in its path. The latter of these two songs divides itself as the most mesmerizing trance-like jam on the album, and despite its length, could buy quality time in a live setting.
Midway through, the vibe tames from a more Psychedelic Rock tone into a mainstream Space Rock sound, if such a term exists. While it does not go too far outside of the box, at the same time it does steer clear of disappoint. Changing course slightly, “Brainwashed” is a song that teeters around the Stoner Rock and Space Rock jam persuasion, delivering yet another catchy, rhythmic diversion. Coming toward the end, “All Day Midnight” is a well-versed number, and even though it brings a much modern appeal, it also gives any vintage Rock tunes a run for its money. Finally, returning with echo vocals and Stoner Rock, the trippy music journey concludes with “When The Hammer Comes Down,” offering the last piece of the puzzle to the masterful cohesion of the album.
Since Monster Magnet mixes in quite a few different influences, they really create their own flavored stew and their strength is the cohesion of the album as a whole. Leaving no stones unturned, Dave Wyndorf has done himself proud with Mindfucker, and, against all odds, he has survived a near death experience, living to tell the tale. When a firm bond is drawn into a creative facet stemmed from passion or heartbreak, there is a very slim chance of any disruption that could unbound the chains. That is why Mindfucker breathes color into a dank and depressed modern day world, filling the deepest souls with a flair for living on the edge and standing one’s ground. For all these reasons, CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.