Monster Magnet: Last Patrol review

\"LastSince the band’s formation in New Jersey in 1989, supersludge legends Monster Magnet have been at the forefront of what is relevant in the stoner rock movement and are widely considered to be pioneers of the genre. From day one they have refused to follow trends, preferring rather to set the standard. Their newest enterprise for Napalm Records entitled Last Patrol, is the band’s 10th release overall and is a diverse fusion of grunge, progressive, punk and psychadelica, that is a true return to their space rock roots. “It’s a weird trip through the back alleys of a dark retro future, that resembles my own life and is a testament to everything we stand for musically,” explains Wyndorf. The band even went as far as making the conscious decision to use vintage guitars, amps, effects, equipment and as little digital processing as possible to achieve a more organic feel, kinda like you get when you listen to vinyl on an old hi-fi from the 70’s. The resulting album is oozing with laid back hippie charm and is a towering achievement. The slow ambient build and restrained vocal delivery of opener “I Live behind the Clouds,” shows a quiet vulnerability, seldom seen in heavier music today while title track, “Last Patrol,” is a sprawling 10 minute epic reminiscent of the classic rock jam “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly with hypnotic acid rock solos. The fuzzy riffs and Middleastern tones in the doomy cover of the Donovan hit “Three Kingshifters,” will thrill hordes of Candlemass fans and the trippy groove of “Paradise,” will immediately bring to mind the Monster Magnet smash “Spacelord.” “Hallelujah” is a cosmic industrial anthem, similar to the 1000 Homo Dj’s cover of the Black Sabbath classic “Supernaut” that finds pastor Dave preaching to the choir while “Mindless Ones” and “End of Time” are full on rockers in the vein of “Negasonic Teenage Warhead.” Here’s the bottom line- while this album may not be as heavy as its predecessor, what it lacks in muscle it more than makes up for in melody and is band’s most ambitious and cerebral effort yet. Rating: 8/10 -Eric Hunker