Monster Magnet, Spine of God & TAB: Quintessential

Posted in Reviews on September 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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A full 26 years after its initial release,¬† http://www.pekarnaivanka.cz/?essay-help-cheaps - Essays & dissertations written by high class writers. experienced writers engaged in the company will write your paper within the Spine of God‘s nine original tracks and TAB‘s three still resonate their sleaze and druggy haze —¬†Monster Magnet frontman/founder¬†Dave Wyndorf has said since getting clean he never wrote a song while under the influence, but he’s also the guy who gave the world the line, “It’s a Satanic drug thing — you wouldn’t understand,” so there’s a grain of salt to be taken there — on the new¬†Napalm Records reissue editions, pressed to vinyl and CD. Going by the artwork, general sound of the remasters and inclusion of the “Ozium (Demo)” and “Spine of God (Live)” bonus tracks on¬†Spine of God and¬†TAB, respectively, these are the same versions of the two outings that¬†SPV/Steamhammer issued in 2006, but even that was 11 years ago at this point and, again, it would be hard to consider such a rate of refresher overkill given the quality of the albums themselves. More of a public service.

Roughly concurrent, it’s a matter of some varying opinion which was recorded and released first — then you get into released first¬†where, which is a whole different issue between various labels in the US and Europe — but it’s proper to take¬†TAB and¬†Spine of God together in any case, and one generally thinks of¬†Spine of God as the band’s debut full-length following their 1990 self-titled EP, earlier demos, and the formative tape¬†Love Monster (discussed here), reissued in 2001, as well as other odds-and-ends single-type releases. From the raw, swirling drums effects and dirt-coated fuzz of “Pill Shovel” onward, it is a launch point for¬†an era of¬†Monster Magnet for which much of their fanbase still pines —¬†Wyndorf joined by guitarist¬†John McBain, bassist¬†Joe Calandra, drummer¬†Jon Kleinman and¬†Tim Cronin, who also played drums on “TAB” — and as the opener, it sets the band adrift on a sea of acid, that will solidify and reliquefy throughout the intense push of “Medicine” and the longer “Nod Scene” and “Black Mastermind,” both jammy freakouts marked by vague spoken word parts buried under scorching, layered leads from¬†McBain and a wash of effects, the sounds of inhaled smoke and seemingly whatever else Wyndorf and company could think to throw into the mix.

monster magnet tab

A later cover of¬†Grand Funk Railroad‘s “Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother” is indelibly made¬†Monster Magnet‘s own, but it’s cuts like the subdued, late-’60s melancholia of “Zodiac Lung” and the addled, arrogant threat of the title-track of¬†Spine of God that truly bring to light both the enduring appeal of the band’s rawness at this stage in their development and the accomplishment of songwriting that this record actually is. At over 50 minutes in its original edition (this one is longer, obviously, with the “Ozium” demo included),¬†Spine of God is definitely of the CD era, and its immersion works very much in linear fashion, pushing through “Pill Shovel” and “Medicine” through “Nod Scene” and “Black Mastermind” en route to its moment of arrival in “Zodiac Lung” and “Spine of God” before a back-to-earth, aggressive aftermath of “Snake Dance” and the aforementioned¬†Grand Funk¬†cover lead the way into the closer “Ozium” and the final moment of glorious psych worship of that last cut’s hook. It’s not a minor trip, but another aspect of its execution that keeps¬†Spine of God so relevant is the band’s immediate sense of reach and dynamic. To think of it even this many years later as a first full-length makes it all the more staggering, and it’s one of those rare releases that lives up to the clich√© of hearing something new in it each time it’s put on. All the more justification for a reissue.

Though it’s not much shorter in topping 50 minutes,¬†TAB is generally considered an EP, and fair enough, though one might argue that its 33-minute title-track is a long-player unto itself. A massive, swirl-and-churn space rock jam, it unfolds languid and broad over its time, with added percussion, cursing speech and other psychedelic weirdo elements one finds playing out across the likes of “Black Mastermind” and “Nod Scene” as well, and eventually devolves into a wash of stoned-out noise before the 13-minute “25/Longhair,” instrumental apart from what may or may not be some effected vocalizations and rawer in its sound, takes hold as the side B complement. The break between the two parts is clear and happens shortly after eight minutes in, but there’s just about no interrupting the flow at that point, and while “Lord 13” is clearer and more straightforward — and shorter at just over four minutes — it retains the vibe oozed forth by the preceding slabs and holds court as a buried treasure of this era of¬†Monster Magnet still satisfying to those who dig in far enough to find it. It doesn’t have the same kind of thrust as “Medicine” or the fullness of attack of “Snake Dance,” but there’s an underlying tension in its rhythm that satisfying all the same, and with the live version of “Spine of God” tacked on,¬†TAB ties directly to¬†that album even further and emphasizes how well they fit together as one consuming work.

As a setup for what¬†Monster Magnet would go on to do with 1993’s Superjudge and 1995’s¬†Dopes to Infinity before the true takeoff of their commercial ascent with the singles-driven¬†Powertrip in 1998 and¬†God Says No in 2001, never mind the greater impact they had outside the band and the greater impact they continue to have in influencing now multiple generations of bands the world over,¬†Spine of God and¬†TAB are essential works of heavy psychedelia that still manage to excite when engaged despite being more or less burned into the consciousness of the style itself.¬†Spine of God itself nigh on unparalleled, and with¬†TAB¬†in company, the picture it paints becomes even deeper and more complete. There should ultimately be little about either or both of them that needs to be said beyond that, and they should be considered required reading for newcomer listeners to the style and those who’ve perhaps followed¬†Monster Magnet‘s more recent output without truly digging into their past, as well as anybody who’s ever wanted to have their mind blown out through their ears because, yeah, that will happen. It’s hard to overstate how pivotal they are and hard to recommend them vehemently enough.

Monster Magnet, Spine of God (1991)

Monster Magnet, Tab (1991)

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Monster Magnet to Release New Album; Spine of God & Tab Reissues Due in Sept. 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

New Jersey legends Monster Magnet will issue a new album before the end of 2017 on Napalm Records. Their next full-length will follow two redux releases that reworked prior material — 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here), which took on 2010’s Mastermind (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), which expanded on the impulses behind 2013’s triumphant return to weirdness, Last Patrol (review here) — and will be the band’s fifth and reportedly final offering through Napalm.

A release date, title, art, tracks, etc., for the new outing have all yet to be revealed, but hopefully that will be coming soon, and in the interim,¬†Napalm¬†has announced it will also put its stamp on the remasters of¬†Spine of God and¬†Tab that were originally put out during the band’s time on¬†SPV. I recall when those came out they weren’t particularly well received, but I never had any complaints either way. Frankly, any opportunity to go out and buy¬†another copy of¬†Spine of God and I’m a happy man. I can think of few better uses for money than that.

The PR wire brings confirmation of the new record and info on the reissues, which are available to preorder now, vinyl and CD:

 

Monster Magnet release re-issues of “Tab” and “Spine Of God”

1989 marks the year of birth of New Jersey’s spacerock legends MONSTER MAGNET. Three years after their first EP on Glitterhouse, the band released their official debut album “Spine Of God” on Caroline Records, which became a full on genre classic literally in an instant. The original debut album “Tab‚ÄĚ was recorded a year earlier then ‚ÄúSpine of God”, but only saw the light of day because of the overwhelming success of its actual successor. The drug hazed heavy sound of both releases helped in cementing MONSTER MAGNET’s reputation of being the only legit descendants of the likes of psychedelic and stoner rock Godfathers Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, and their electrifying punk siblings in MC5. Following those groundbreaking records, the band centered around charismatic master mind Dave Wyndorf went on to issue their first major label release “Superjudge”, followed by critically acclaimed albums “Dopes To Infinity” and ‚ÄúPowertrip”. That’s how MONSTER MAGNET transformed themselves into the Olympus of modern power rock and became legends themselves. The rest is history…

Napalm Records now proudly presents the re-issues of those legendary musical beginnings of this incredible band that no doubt can be considered the founding fathers of Stoner Rock. Both classic albums “Tab” and “Spine Of God” will be released on September 1 worldwide and can be pre-ordered HERE! The albums will be available on vinyl and CD!

MONSTER MAGNET will also release a brand new studio album later this year, so stay tuned for more info!

“Tab” track listing:
1 Tab
2 25
3 Longhair
4 Lord 13

“Spine Of God” track listing:
1 Pill Shovel
2 Medicine
3 Nod Scene
4 Black Mastermind
5 Zodiac Lung
6 Spine Of God
7 Snake Dance
8 Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
9 Ozium
10 Ozium (Demo Version)

http://www.zodiaclung.com
https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet
http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/monstermagnet
https://www.instagram.com/monstermagnetofficial/

Monster Magnet, Spine of God (1991)

Monster Magnet, Tab (1991)

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Friday Full-Length: Monster Magnet, Spine of God

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 27th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Monster Magnet, Spine of God (1991)

Nothing against SPV Records — their reissue of Spine of God and other earlier Monster Magnet albums was fair game as they were out of print and unavailable to a bunch of fans who came aboard during the band’s more commercial hard rock era — but if you want to listen to Spine of God, you really need to go for the original. Caroline Records, in a jewel case, some of the finest heavy psych rock ever crafted. Still ahead of its time. We’re still playing catchup to where Spine of God is at. We’ll get there one of these days, then we’ll all crack our skulls doing airplanes and get our heads just right and so on. Cover me with skin and hair. Fucking a.

Spine of God¬†is more than a great¬†Monster Magnet¬†record — they’ve got a few by now — but an absolute landmark. In New Jersey, the state in which I was born and raised, an entire generation of bands came up in the wake of¬†Monster Magnet‘s branching out, and that scene is still going, moving forward. So are¬†Monster Magnet, albeit with a much different lineup than they had 23 years ago, but to go back and look at the development of Red Bank, NJ, as a center in which heavy rock flourished on the East Coast in bands like¬†Godspeed,¬†Core,¬†The Atomic Bitchwax,¬†Solarized,¬†later¬†Halfway to Gone,¬†Solace, The Ribeye Bros.,¬†and on and on,¬†Monster Magnet¬†are a big branch on that bizarre family tree, and¬†Spine of God, which was their debut — to mix metaphors — was the root for a lot of what came after. Add to all that it’s an absolute masterpiece, and yeah, I’m gonna close out the week with it.

I’ll further admit that while it was ultimately the classicitude of¬†Spine of God¬†which made me break it out on this late night/early morning, a close second in motivation was the band’s upcoming¬†Milking the Stars, the November release of which was announced earlier this month. I’ve been spending a lot of time with that record, which is comprised of reworked tracks from¬†Monster Magnet‘s 2013 opus,¬†Last Patrol¬†(review here), as well as the previously unreleased title-cut and some other odds and ends, and almost as much as I dig what frontman/songwriter/founder¬†Dave Wyndorf¬†did in remaking the songs, I think the adventurous spirit of the album and the willingness to screw with work that by most definitions would be “finished” already emphasizes a lot of what’s made¬†Monster Magnet¬†so great all these years, and bodes ridiculously well for their proper follow-up to¬†Last Patrol, since basically they can go anywhere at this point. I’ll have a review up of¬†Milking the Stars¬†sometime in the next month or so, but it’s on my mind already.

Enjoy¬†Spine of God. It’s one of my favorite records.

Is is really three in the morning? Ah jeez. I rolled in not at all long ago from seeing Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Danava in New York. Quite a night. I was going to go to Boston last night, but as I mentioned on Thee Facebooks, it was my 10th wedding anniversary — the only holiday about which I give even the remotest of fucks — and, well, 10 years isn’t nothing. Kind of a big deal. If it was seven years, or some other in-between number, I might be able to get away with that. But 10? Nah. As of Sunday, The Patient Mrs. and I will have been together for a total of 17 years, which is more than half of both of our lives. Wild to think about. How stupid lucky I am.

Next week though I’ll review the Uncle Acid gig, and I’ve also got a new track from Eternal Tapestry going up on Monday. If I’m up to it Sunday, I might put up the first recorded demo from Righteous Bloom, which is the new spinoff band from Beelzefuzz. And of course there’s the podcast. Thanks if you got to check that out. Apparently I’m up to 40 of them. Got a thing for round numbers lately, I suppose.

Obviously there’s a lot more than that to come, but I have no idea what it might be. The Patient Mrs. and I are in Connecticut for the weekend, celebrando, so at least I didn’t have to go all the way back to Massachusetts tonight. Felt good to be back in New York. Even Manhattan on a Friday night, which is nightmare of inflated ego, inflated bank accounts and terrifying hawtness. Good to go a show there, I guess. City still smells like pee. I had some point about being in Connecticut. It’s long gone. God damn this Monster Magnet record is awesome.

Have a great and safe weekend. PLEASE check out the forum and radio stream.

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