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Monster Magnet « Ectomag

Monster Magnet

Monster Magnet

Milking The Stars: a re-imagining of Last Patrol

Napalm Records

3.0

monster magnet

I want to like Monster Magnet but it’s hard to bring myself to get into them. Ages ago I saw them open for HIM. They sucked balls. The only song that even came close to moving the crowd was “Space Lord”. I will give them a pass on part of the night. The hard rocking cosmic style of Metal that Monster Magnet plays is a mismatch for the HIM crowd. I’m sure it’s hard to win a crowd over when the main event is vastly different from what you’re putting out there. And everyone is entitled to a bad night. But that show forever cemented Monster Magnet in my mind as that horrible screeching band that opened for HIM.

                                                           

In the interest of fair play I gave Monster Magnet’s new album, Milking the Stars: A Reimagining of Last Patrol a spin. I was hoping that after years of seeing them as an also ran they had put out something that will change my mind. Now I can say with all honesty that while I don’t think of them as completely awful now, I don’t love them either. In the lyric department, Monster Magnet is a really fun band to listen to. They spend a lot of time in the hippy dippy sentiments of peace, love and understanding, but manage to weave in plenty of angry intergalactic shit to give it a nice balance. The lyrics for “End of Time (B-3)” feel like something Jim Morrison would have written if he was into aliens and was high out of his mind. The rock and blues vibe behind” Hellelujah (Fuzz and Swamp)” brings to mind scenes from a backwoods revival. It’s dark and bluesy. Filled with equal parts horror and hope. Everything that a good revival should be.

As much as I like a lot of the lyrics on this album, Monster Magnet doesn’t move me musically. They have all of the elements that you need to make a great Metal band, but are lacking the heart and soul to push it over the top. I ran into more than a few great riffs on this album. There is a riff on “I Live Behind the Clouds” that would do Stevie Ray Vaughn proud. But for every great riff or lyric on Milking the Stars: A Reimagining of Last Patrol there is a whole lot of meh in between. But that seems to be par for the course when it comes to Monster Magnet. They seem to have made a career on putting out two or three great things. Then spending the rest of the album doing a lot of shit that is just alright at best. It’s a formula that I should find depressing but have come to accept as part of what they do.

I think I have gotten past my initial hatred on Monster Magnet enough that I will probably give anything that they do at least courtesy spin. You never know when one of their jams is going to explode over you. But while I listen for their next big thing, I don’t think they will ever deliver an album that is all killer all of the time.

 

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