Monster Magnet – Mastermind
Three years after lacklustre previous album 4-Way Diablo and a period of personal problems for band leader Dave Wyndorf which saw the European tour for the album cancelled, Monster Magnet’s eighth album tries to set the record straight. Before the real grooves kick in the album opens with the hit/miss combo of slow, doomy Hallucination Bomb which shows Wyndorf’s voice in as fine form as ever and their riffs heavied up nicely with a wonderfully even production by Matt Hyde, and monotonous garage rocker Bored With Sorcery, which sees Wyndorf do an equally good job with his singing, but is overpowered by an incessant snare drum.
Later brooding rocker Gods And Punks, which is destined to be an ever-present in the live set, spacey The Titan Who Cried Like A Baby and jangly All Outta Nothin’ all recall the band’s late-’90s hey-day of hit album Powertrip, and while there’s not quite anything here with the undeniable groove of mega-hit Space Lord, things like the Candlemass-meets-Corrosion of Conformity sliding groove on the title track and slow-paced stoner feel of When The Planes Fall From The Sky. 100 Million Miles and Perish In Fire suffer from the same problem as Bored of Sorcery, the former almost being saved by its guitar solo, but these are the only weak links of the twelve tracks.
The band haven’t quite recaptured their finest hour, but are a lot closer than they were at the last attempt.