I discovered Monster Magnet by accident back in 2007. A Metal Edge sampler CD happened to contain a track of theirs called “Wall of Fire,” off an album titled 4-Way Diablo. I must have played this song a dozen times on repeat when I first heard it. It was upbeat, entertaining, and proved a reasonably decent way to get pumped, which is all I really asked for in those days. I never explored further into Monster Magnet’s discography, however, and the band fell by the wayside for awhile. Well…at least until Last Patrol was released.
Last Patrol came out October of 2013 but I didn’t discover it until the end of last year. For those that have exceptional memories, you may recall me discussing and sharing an incredible music video for “The Duke”. It was easily one of the best videos to be released in 2014, accompanying Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol. Naturally, my curiosity had peaked again and I found myself picking up Last Patrol a few weeks later. And I gotta say, it didn’t disappoint on any level.
The Monster Magnet sound is best categorized as stoner rock—not what you’re used to getting from me, I know. It’s a different direction entirely. Using deliberate leads, varied cadences, and a unique display of echoing and flange effects, Monster Magnet takes on a more retro feel, and Last Patrol evidences that start to finish. The pace is constantly rising and falling, yet stays cohesive and, quite simply, catchy. There are guitar solos that could very well be influenced by Pink Floyd, coupled with Dave Wyndorf’s almost southern-sounding hard rock voice. And if you want further southern influence, “Hallelujah” will stand out immediately. All these sounds blend together to create something truly captivating. It’s a sound that takes a rather cosmic feel—which, well…the badass cover art only helps along further.
I could pick apart each track one by one, but that’s not really worth it. You’ll get a feel for the sound yourself. However, there should be an added focus on the stretch from “Mindless Ones” straight through “End of Time.” The use of flange effects on “Mindless Ones,” combined with a rather aggressive rhythm, makes for a somewhat heavier feel. But then we move into “The Duke.” While we’ve already discussed the video, the song deserves even more attention. Where the pace had picked up through the preceding track, we fall right back into a slower pattern that really focuses on the retro quality of Monster Magnet’s sound. It’s a foot-tapper and it’s absolutely intoxicating. But this interval is held to only the one song before we jump right into “End of Time”—the most upbeat track on the album and the one that will get stuck in your head first. The chorus is an earworm, the pace is fast (relatively), and the transitions from verse to pre-chorus to chorus are absolutely mint. It’s the highlight of Last Patrol for me, and with good reason.
But that’s enough of looking into the songs themselves. Monster Magnet has created a unique sound that they deliver to the stoner rock world with perfection. I invite you all to take a listen below.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”