audiObelisk Transmission 065

Posted in Podcasts on February 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

aOT65

I recognize that saying so is the cliché equivalent to writing a song with the same bassline as ‘N.I.B.,’ but if this was December and not February and the year was about to end in a couple weeks’ time, would you really be able to complain about any lack of fantastic releases? It’s been two months and before the next one is out we will have seen and heard new offerings from Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, Earthless, Fu Manchu and literally hundreds of others. It’s been as awesome as it’s been impossible to keep up with.

This new podcast follows the same model as the last one, vis-a-vis using Spotify as the medium of conveyance. You can see the playlist in the player below, and you may accordingly wonder why I’ve bothered to type it out underneath as well. It’s because streaming sites disappear even quicker than they rise to dominance, and I’m not saying The Obelisk is going to outlast Spotify or anything, but just in case, I like to keep my own records. I appreciate the indulgence on your part.

Awesome mix this time around. No real theme other than it’s new stuff I’ve been listening to a lot and digging. I very much hope you enjoy it as well. 21 tracks. About two and a half hours long.

Thanks for listening and reading:

Track details:

Artist, Track, Album, Runtime
Earthless, “Black Heaven” from Black Heaven, 8:45
Sundrifter, “Targeted” from Visitations, 4:45
Psilocibina, “Acid Jam” from LSD / Acid Jam, 7:08
Blackwater Holylight, “Sunrise” from Blackwater Holylight, 4:51
Fu Manchu, “Clone of the Universe” from Clone of the Universe, 2:57
Green Lung, “Free the Witch” from Free the Witch, 5:55
Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” from Mindfucker, 4:59
All Souls, “Never Know” from All Souls, 5:59
Red Lama, “Perfect Strangers” from Motions, 6:47
Blackwülf, “Sinister Sides” from Sinister Sides, 4:53
Fuzz Lord, “Worlds Collide” from Fuzz Lord, 6:58
Corrosion of Conformity, “Forgive Me” from No Cross No Crown, 4:06
Apostle of Solitude, “Ruination Be Thy Name” from From Gold to Ash, 6:37
Avon, “Space Native” from Dave’s Dungeon, 4:42
Psychic Lemon, “Exit to the Death Lane” from Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, 8:32
The Dry Mouths, “Catalonian Cream” from When the Water Smells of Sweat, 4:34
Insect Ark, “Windless” from Marrow Hymns, 8:38
Naxatras, “You Won’t Be Left Alone” from III, 11:17
Mythic Sunship, “Into Oblivion” from Upheaval, 13:56
King Buffalo, “Repeater” from Repeater, 13:40
Hound the Wolves, “Masquerade” from Camera Obscura, 13:10

If you’re interested, you can follow me on Spotify here.

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Review & Track Premiere: Monster Magnet, Mindfucker

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet mindfucker

[Click play above to stream the premiere of the Hawkwind cover ‘Ejection’ from Monster Magnet’s new LP, Mindfucker, out March 28 on Napalm Records.]

For about the first seven seconds of its opening track, Monster Magnet‘s Mindfucker is indistinguishable from a Ramones record. Over a howl of feedback, the drums count-in quickly and with the ringing-out of a first power chord and a “let’s go!” from founding frontman Dave Wyndorf, the 3:30 “Rocket Freak” is underway, almost immediately giving the forward position to the album’s stated mission of proto-punk simplicity meeting heavy rock drive. Wyndorf can’t resist an excursion or two into space — nor should he, frankly — as the ranging seven-minute “Drowning” shows, or the mid-paced warnings in closer “When the Hammer Comes Down,” but with a crux in impactful, forward-thrusting cuts like “Soul,” “Mindfucker,” the take on Hawkwind‘s “Ejection,” “Want Some” and “Brainwashed,” even the penultimate “All Day Midnight” balances its melancholia with stage-ready energy in its delivery, and even in comparison to the long-running New Jersey troupe’s recent output, 2013’s Last Patrol (review here), the two let’s-weird-’em-up redux specials — 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), which took on Last Patrol, and 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here), which did likewise for 2010’s Mastermind (review here) — Mindfucker sounds invigorated, genuinely rooted in the place where punk and heavy rock meet, and is of course rife with the lyrical nuance of Wyndorf‘s written and spoken voice as a keystone presence.

Yes, Monster Magnet sound like Monster Magnet. To expect otherwise 30-some years after the band began to take shape seems, frankly, like a ridiculous notion. But as ever, they’re also working to twist that meaning and expand their overarching context, so that even as they sound like themselves, with some drum contributions from producer Joe BarresiWyndorf and guitarist Phil Caivano worked largely alone in the studio — the live band is rounded out by guitarist Garrett Sweeny, drummer Bob Pantella and bassist Chris Kosnik (the latter two also of The Atomic Bitchwax) — to reshape, and for lack of a better phrase, fuck with that definition, expanding it in new and interesting dimensions.

Two items to note in the interest of full disclosure here. First, I’m a Monster Magnet fan. I grew up in New Jersey, and I’d admired the band’s work throughout the various stages of their career. Their albums aren’t always perfect, and there have been times when it’s seemed like they’ve put out records almost to antagonize the expectations of their fanbase — oh, you wanted Superjudge? well here’s 4-Way Diablo — but even that speaks to a creative will I find admirable. Second, I was hired by Napalm Records to help write the bio for Mindfucker, which I hope to post here sooner or later, and compensated for that effort. I don’t believe that affects my impartiality about Mindfucker‘s 10-track/49-minute run, because I don’t think I had any to start with, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it. There. Now it’s out of the way.

Chiefly, what Mindfucker does is work toward a long-stated goal on the part of Wyndorf to tap into the raw ’70s power of bands like MC5 and The Stooges, the early punk of the aforementioned Ramones and others of a more garage-ly ilk. Its production remains modern — Milking the Stars and Cobras and Fire experimented with some true retro stylization, and it worked, but Mindfucker‘s are too high-energy to give up their aural clarity in such a way — but it’s interesting to note that Monster Magnet and long-running Danish garage acolytes Baby Woodrose have perhaps never sounded so similar from this end as they do on “Ejection,” “Brainwashed” or even the more melancholy “All Day Midnight,” which retain a character of performance less outwardly speeding-at-night-punked than “Rocket Freak” or the subsequent “Soul” at the outset, but prove no less memorable in their hooks, while songs like “I’m God” and “Mindfucker” itself continue the social commentary of Last Patrol, with Wyndorf positioning himself as the “living among the clouds” observer of the downward spiral that modernity seems perpetually to be riding.

“I’m God,” lyrically, imagines a new flood of sorts, while “Mindfucker” couches the totality of the daily news cycle in the standout hook of its chorus: “You’re a mindfucker baby, look what you done to my head/You’re a mindfucker baby, settin’ fire to my bed/Soul crushin’ love child, deep inside of my brain/You’re a mindfucker baby, beautiful and insane,” putting the world in which we live in the position of the proverbial crazy significant other. And fairly enough so.

monster magnet (photo jeremy saffer)

“Mindfucker” itself is maddeningly, almost unfortunately, catchy. This is an aspect it shares with “I’m God,” “Want Some” and “Ejection,” the latter of which is perhaps unsurprisingly about as pure a classic rocker as the band offers throughout. As the side B leadoff, it mirrors somewhat the push of “Rocket Freak” at the start of side A, but with even more choice lead guitar work, flourish of tripped-out effects and lyrics that, instead of celebrating the “Rocket Freak” — “She’s my rocket freak and it’s the end of the world” — see space as an inevitable place of escape from the woes of the day. I don’t want to paint Mindfucker as being overly political, since it’s not like Wyndorf is calling for legislation banning assault weapons or writing anti-Republican protest songs, but there’s an underlying awareness of the absurdity in which America, and indeed the world, exist on a day-to-day basis that seems to be the undercurrent lyrical theme tying the record together in the places where it does.

That comes through certainly in “Brainwashed,” which leads the way into the closing duo of “All Day Midnight” and “When the Hammer Comes Down,” which seem to break away a bit from some of the moves the rest of Mindfucker is making. Less so “All Day Midnight” the elevator of which gets off right at the 13th floor and knows exactly where it wants to head, but much as “Drowning” — the longest cut on the album at 7:21 — offered a melancholy and contemplative finish to side A, “When the Hammer Comes Down” at the very least makes no attempt to hide the dire nature of its point of view, which can be summarized in the final lines, “You tapped a supernova when you left the truth to drown/The universe will do you right, when the hammer comes down,” which, in the context of the earlier, “Karma’s a bitch, people/I hope you bought a nice bed,” would seem to leave little to question as to what Wyndorf sees as the direction in which humanity is headed.

However, much as the album isn’t overly political in an obvious way — you can put it on, rock out, and not think once about rising ocean levels, mass shootings, #metoo moments or the social media misadventures of a commander in chief culled from reality television — neither is it a downer. Quite the opposite. Though its lyrical skepticism is pervasive, and its very title — which I admit elicited a “really dude?” from me at first as well, as would seem to have been at least part of Wyndorf‘s intention toward his audience — is somewhat abrasive, Mindfucker‘s multifaceted tracks build significant momentum between them and the long-player as whole pushes forward with only a bare minimum of letup to allow for dynamics to play out.

It is continually satisfying to be unable to predict where Monster Magnet and Wyndorf as the auteur thereof will head on a given release — one still hopes for more go-back-and-screw-with-it revisionist works eventually for records like 2001’s Monolithic Baby! and the aforementioned 4-Way Diablo, let alone the potential to play up the bizarro aspects of these cuts — and Mindfucker indeed presents a sonic turn even from Last Patrol as it veers away from the psychedelic aspects on display there and toward more bare-bones structures and direct, stage-ready presentation. What’s unflinching, however, and wherever the band goes at any given point, is genuine lyrical genius, and a conceptual foundation that challenges its audience to actively engage with it even as the songs themselves are classic-pop catchy and unabashed in being centered around memorable hooks.

Any Monster Magnet release is going to provoke strong opinions on multiple sides of their now-multigenerational fanbase, and with a certain amount of confrontationalism even on the most superficial of levels, Mindfucker will be no different in that regard. But what remains true is that even as they approach the 30-year mark since their founding in 1989, they continue to be moved by an unrelenting creative spirit, and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon, regardless of the direction any individual release might take. As vast an influence as they’ve had, Monster Magnet are still one of a kind, and as Wyndorf asks the question in the title-track here, “Why you gotta fuck with my head?,” yeah, he’s summarizing the social strata in which we currently exist, but also he surely does so knowing that in the balance of the band’s years and decades, he’s given as good as he’s got in terms of mindfuckery.

Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” official video

Monster Magnet website

Monster Magnet on Thee Facebooks

Monster Magnet on Twitter

Monster Magnet on Instagram

Monster Magnet at Napalm Records

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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Monster Magnet Release “Mindfucker” Official Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet

Sorry. What, you thought Monster Magnet were going to put out a record called Mindfucker and not release a video for the title-track? Does that seem likely to you?

Of course not. They know what they’re doing. Dave Wyndorf? Like after 30-someodd years since founding the band, he just decided to forget something like the fact that Mindfucker is a completely over-the-top, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot and, frankly, dumb title? Hell no. That’s the whole idea.

Because here’s the thing about Mindfucker. The lyrics to the chorus go like this:

You’re a mindfucker baby, look what you done to my head
You’re a mindfucker baby, settin’ fire to my bed
Soul crushin’ love child, deep inside of my brain
You’re a mindfucker baby, beautiful and insane

But it’s not a person Wyndorf is talking about. It’s the fucking planet. It’s the times. The age we live in. And he’s not wrong. Think about the sheer gorgeousness and horror of existence every day brings and it’s totally overwhelming. The sheer absurdity of it. Calling a song “Mindfucker,” calling a record Mindfucker — it’s not just an observation. It’s a purposeful participation in the ridiculousness. They could’ve called it anything. It just so happens that Mindfucker is the one-word summary that seems to best fit.

What else could you possibly call it?

Monster Magnet is Dave Wyndorf on guitar/vocals, Phil Caivano and Garrett Sweeny on guitar, Chris Kosnik on bass and Bob Pantella on drums. Mindfucker is out March 23 on Napalm Records and the official clip for the title-track below puts a pretty heavy emphasis on the rock, as does the entirety of the record. More to come on that as we get closer to the release.

Video and PR wire info follows below. Bonus points to Bob Pantella for the Bloodrock t-shirt. You gotta dress for success.

Enjoy:

Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” official video

The first single and title track “Mindfucker” enforces once again where MONSTER MAGNET has always been rooted: deep in the heart of true ROCK music. Dirty, dangerous and totally on fire!

Now MONSTER MAGNET delivers the video for “Mindfucker”! It’s packed with all the MONSTER MAGNET trademarks: Orange amps, psychedelic patterns, the bullgod, flaming explosions and the band rocking the fuck out.

MONSTER MAGNET live on tour:
03.05.18 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
04.05.18 DE – Berlin / Desertfest Berlin
05.05.18 NL – Nijmeden / Doornroosje
06.05.18 UK – London / Desertfest London
08.05.18 DE – Cologne / Live Music Hall
09.05.18 DE – Saarbrucken / Garage
11.05.18 ES – Bilbao / Santana 27
12.05.18 ES – Madrid / Sala Riviera
14.05.18 CH – Pratteln / Z7
15.05.18 IT – Milan / Alcatraz Club
16.05.18 DE – Bochum / Zeche
18.05.18 DE – Nuremburg / Hirsch
19.05.18 NL – Groningen / Vera
21.05.18 DK – Copenhagen / Pumpehuset
22.05.18 SE – Stockholm / Debaser Strand
23.05.18 NO – Oslo / Blâ
24.05.18 SE – Malmö / Kulturbolaget (KB)
26.05.18 DE – Bremen / Schlachthof
28.05.18 BE – Leuven / Het Depot
29.05.18 BE – Ghent / Vooriut
31.05.18 UK – Manchester / Gorilla
01.06.18 UK – Glasgow / The Garage
02.06.18 UK – Belfast / Limelight
03.06.18 IR – Dublin / The Tivoli

MONSTER MAGNET line up:
Dave Wyndorf (vocals, guitar)
Garrett Sweeny (guitar)
Phil Caivano (guitar)
Chris Kosnik (bass)
Bob Pantella (drums)

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

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Monster Magnet to Tour Europe in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Just a week after announcing the March 2018 arrival of their awaited next Napalm Records long-player, Mindfucker, New Jersey heavy rock kingpins Monster Magnet have revealed the full European tour they’ll undertake in May in order to support the album. We already knew they were set to headline at Desertfest in Berlin and London, but it seems that’s just the start of the run, which will cover an entire month between May 3 and June 3 and cover Western and Northern Europe as well as the UK and Ireland, ending in Dublin.

Goes without saying that Mindfucker stands among the most anticipated releases of 2018. High among them. I don’t know if the band has any plans toward doing a US tour — they’ll probably hit the New York area one way or another, Starland Ballroom at least will get a couple shows — but this stint is significant all the same and wherever they’re headed, we should basically consider ourselves fortunate they’re doing anything at all. Shit, if you wanted an excuse to travel to Europe this Spring, there it is.

It comes via the PR wire:

monster magnet

MONSTER MAGNET – Announce European Tour For May 2018

After letting the world know that the waiting for a new album finally comes to an end in Spring 2018, MONSTER MAGNET are ready to show once more that they are full blown pros in this carnival that is the music industry! Believe it or not, they already have confirmed a tour, visiting the biggest cities in Europe to promote the just announced album “MINDFUCKER”! No rest for the wicked!

On their last tour (and many tours before!), MONSTER MAGNET has proven, that they still kick out the jams (get the hint?), so don’t miss out on this legendary band live in May 2018! They will surely play the MONSTER MAGNET classics you know by heart as well as some songs from the new album “MINDFUCKER”, which will be “full-ahead Detroit-style, early 70s, MC5 and Stooges type of rock”, according to mastermind Dave Wyndorf himself!

MONSTER MAGNET live on tour:
03.05.18 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
04.05.18 DE – Berlin / Desertfest Berlin
05.05.18 NL – Nijmeden / Doornroosje
06.05.18 UK – London / Desertfest London
08.05.18 DE – Cologne / Live Music Hall
09.05.18 DE – Saarbrucken / Garage
11.05.18 ES – Bilbao / Santana 27
12.05.18 ES – Madrid / Sala Riviera
14.05.18 CH – Pratteln / Z7
15.05.18 IT – Milan / Alcatraz Club
16.05.18 DE – Bochum / Zeche
18.05.18 DE – Nuremburg / Hirsch
19.05.18 NL – Groningen / Vera
21.05.18 DK – Copenhagen / Pumpehuset
22.05.18 SE – Stockholm / Debaser Strand
23.05.18 NO – Oslo / Blâ
24.05.18 SE – Malmö / Kulturbolaget (KB)
26.05.18 DE – Bremen / Schlachthof
28.05.18 BE – Leuven / Het Depot
29.05.18 BE – Ghent / Vooriut
31.05.18 UK – Manchester / Gorilla
01.06.18 UK – Glasgow / The Garage
02.06.18 UK – Belfast / Limelight
03.06.18 IR – Dublin / The Tivoli

“MINDFUCKER” will be released on March 23, 2018 and can be pre-ordered right HERE!

MONSTER MAGNET line up:
Dave Wyndorf (vocals, guitar)
Garrett Sweeny (guitar)
Phil Caivano (guitar)
Chris Kosnik (bass)
Bob Pantella (drums)

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

Monster Magnet, “Powertrip” & “Mindfucker” live in Leeds, May 23, 2017

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Monster Magnet to Release Mindfucker March 28; Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet

NJ heavy rock kingpins Monster Magnet will release their awaited new album, Mindfucker, via Napalm Records on March 28, 2018. Preorders are available now for what’s expected to be their last offering through Napalm Records, and their first proper studio outing since Last Patrol (review here) in 2013, though that record was followed by a pair of LP reduxes, 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), which took on Last Patrol, and 2015’s Cobras and Fire(review here), which gave 2010’s Mastermind (review here) a much-needed weirding out. As to where Mindfucker might be headed in terms of sound, between the band’s more straightforward heavy rock approach and the psychedelic vibes that Last Patrol seemed to revamp in their style, your guess is as good as mine, but if it dares even by a fraction to live up to its title, it would seem Dave Wyndorf and company have some surprises in store.

They were playing the title-track live earlier this year on tour, and you can see a pretty good clip of “Mindfucker” below. Thanks to whoever happened to be filming that night in Leeds.

This just in from the PR wire:

monster magnet mindfucker

MONSTER MAGNET Announce New Album “MINDFUCKER” Coming Spring 2018 via Napalm Records

It’s been more than a year since the first rumors spread about a new MONSTER MAGNET album and that the band was preparing to enter the studio in Fall 2016. During the band’s European Summer tour it finally got confirmed what the fans around the world were so desperately hoping for to be true. Mastermind Dave Wyndorf stated that the long awaited new studio record is going to be (quote) “full-ahead Detroit-style, early 70s, MC5 and Stooges type of rock”. Sounded very promising back then! And now we know… he wasn’t lying!

MONSTER MAGNET puts the pedal to the metal with “MINDFUCKER”, their 11th record. “MINDFUCKER” is different, a step forward and a step back at the same time to the almighty roots of hard rock music, kindled by the unpretentious Proto-punk era. Up tempo, savage in both sound and spirit, “MINDFUCKER” is the real deal! The album has the potential to surprise and to whip up the love for the genre, while still giving the sludgies and stoner freaks exactly what they wish for in a new MONSTER MAGNET album.

“MINDFUCKER” will be released on March 23, 2018 and can be pre-ordered right HERE!

“MINDFUCKER is a fuzzed out, headbangin’ celebration of hard rock and 21st century paranoia” says Dave. “Ten fuel injected, nitro burning tracks of fiery rock ’n roll and garage psych madness, all done Monster Magnet style. It’s also an album that gets right to the point: the world is out of it’s fucking mind and I’m livin’ it….for better or worse. It’s simple, really. In these crazy times I’ve been wanting to just drive my car at 100 miles per hour and howl, you know what I mean? So I wrote songs I can do that with. And with lyrics that don’t deny the times we’re living in. Feels good, feels right. Rock is alive, baby!”

Watch out for further news and new music from mastermind Dave Wyndorf and MONSTER MAGNET!

“MINDFUCKER” track listing:
1. Rocket Freak
2. Soul
3. Mindfucker
4. I’m God
5. Drowning
6. Ejection
7. Want Some
8. Brainwashed
9. All Day Midnight
10. When The Hammer Comes Down

MONSTER MAGNET line up:
Dave Wyndorf (vocals, guitar)
Garrett Sweeny (guitar)
Phil Caivano (guitar)
Chris Kosnik (bass)
Bob Pantella (drums)

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

Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” live in Leeds, May 23, 2017

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Desertfest Berlin 2018 First Announcements: Monster Magnet, Nebula, Eyehategod, Jex Thoth, Planet of Zeus & The Necromancers

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Berlin 2018 made its actual first announcement the other day when it unveiled that it was moving from its traditional home at Astra Kulturhaus to Arena Berlin. I’m not familiar with the space, but one assumes the move is at least in part to accommodate the gradual upping of scale that Desertfest as a whole has undertaken over the last few years.

As ever, Desertfest Berlin will apparently share a decent amount of lineup with the London incarnation of the fest, and fair enough — that’s kind of the idea — but in addition to headliners Monster Magnet and the confirmations for EyehategodNebulaJex Thoth and Planet of ZeusDesertfest Berlin 2018 will also feature The Necromancers, who’ve yet to be added to London if they will be at all, and so we see the German event beginning to cast its own shape as well.

More to come, of course. Here’s what came in on the PR wire so far:

DESERTFEST BERLIN ANNOUNCES FIRST BANDS & HEADLINER FOR 2018

Tickets On Sale Now!

Desert rockers! It’s about time to unveil the first bunch of bands for next year’s Desertfest Berlin, which will take place between May 4th – 6th 2018 at the ARENA BERLIN!

Ladies & gentlemen, breath in deep, as this first line-up news will come to revive your spirit: We’re more than thrilled to announce that the Spacelord, Dave Wyndorf will hit our main stage in 2018. MONSTER MAGNET comes as the first headliner we can proudly present to you today! With their hazed heavy sound on groundbreaking records such as ‘Tab’, ‘Spine Of God’, ‘Dopes To Infinity’ or ‘Powertrip’, MONSTER MAGNET transformed themselves into the Olympus of modern power rock and became the godfathers of psychedelic and stoner rock.

More big news are coming ahead, Desert Rockers! We are extremely happy that LA´s legendary psych stoner outfit NEBULA will celebrate their Re Union at our stages!!! Formed in 1997 by Fu Manchu member Eddie Glass, NEBULA have been on indefinite hiatus since early 2010 but have not broken up. We are much looking forward to welcome Eddy Glass and his gang at Desertfest Berlin 2018!

Oh and for all of you dear Sludge rockers, don’t worry we haven’t forgot about you. What about a heavy dose of mighty EYEHATEGOD in 2018? Yes, you have heard right. The kings of Sludge from New Orleans, who emerged from the Nola Metal scene since 1988 belong to the most influencing bands. Heavy, detuned, and bluesy guitar riffs, combined with walls of feedback and tortured vocals to create a harsh misantrophic vibe, EYEHATEGOD will make sure to take over our new home at the ARENA BERLIN!

Next on the bill we’re very proud to inform you, that the queen of darkness JEX THOTH will bring the Doom and Psychedelic Rock as its finest to Desertfest Berlin. Fronted by the eponymous Ms. Jessica Thoth, the Wisconsin- based 5 piece band delivers delicate tones that are soaked in mystery and aura as well as generate astounding depth atop a musical landscape of intelligently constructed Sabbath-ian blues vibes and fuzzy distortion.

Athen’s rumbling heavy rock machine PLANET OF ZEUS will set the stage on fire with their outstanding live performance. Last but not least in this announcement we are welcoming THE NECROMANCERS! This young band from France raised a lot of attention with the release of their outstanding debut album a few weeks ago.

We hope you all like this first bunch of bands and be sure there are many more exciting acts and news to follow soon! In 2018 we will break new grounds and preparing for an unforgettable Desertfest Berlin experience.

Join us in the capital of the almighty riff – DESERTFEST BERLIN 2018!!!

Limited amount of early birds avaialble now!
85 € ( + 7.-€ service fee)

Head over and make sure to get yours right HERE: https://www.desertfest-tickets.de/produkte/150

www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/desertfestberlin
www.facebook.com/events/128298847822160

Desertfest Berlin 2018 first announcements teaser

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Desertfest London 2018 First Announcements: Monster Magnet, Nebula Reunion, Eyehategod, Jex Thoth, Planet of Zeus, Black Moth and The Black Wizards

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest London 2018 comes out of the gate with some pretty huge confirmations for next Spring. The fest will feature Monster Magnet headlining and a return appearance from Eyehategod, as well as — just days after they announced their reunion lineup — the reformed heavy psych rockers Nebula. The set at Desertfest London 2018 is the first confirmation from Eddie Glass and company, and I’m thrilled to say I wrote the announcement for that one as well as for Monster Magnet, which I totally scammed myself into doing, citing the New Jersey connection in the process.

Also confirmed for the bill are the doomily delightful Jex Thoth, Greek burl-bringers Planet of Zeus and the also-worthy-of-alliteration-but-really-enough-is-enough Black Moth and The Black Wizards. All told it’s an immediately awesome and varied bill that sets up the fest — to be held from May 4-6 in Camden Town — with multiple avenues for further expansion. And no doubt it will expand, with more lineup announcements to come along with ticket info and all the rest over the coming months as we move into the end of 2017 and the arrival of the New Year.

But one way or another, the season has started. Check it out:

desertfest london 2018

MONSTER MAGNET, NEBULA AND MORE KICK OFF DESERTFEST 2018!

Desertfest aims to get bigger and better every year, and for our 7th edition it’s no different. Ladies and gentlemen, bow down to the Bullgod because Monster Magnet are headlining Desertfest 2018!

That’s right, New Jersey’s finest rock exports, Monster Magnet, are set to steamroll through Camden as headliners of Desertfest. The bona fide stoner psych living legends are approaching three decades of bringing the world acid freakouts and riff rock anthems; freakouts and anthems which, it’s no understatement to say, helped shape the stoner rock scene.

From their boundary breaking psych in early releases to the hard rock stomp through the noughties and their recent return to early influences, Monster Magnet have a knack for putting out iconic albums, before doing it all better live. We were always going to have Monster Magnet play eventually and 2018 is the year it happens. We can’t wait to be part of the biggest singalong in Desertfest history when Powertrip hits.

Joining them are the recently resurrected early stoner kings, Nebula, who return from an eight year hiatus in 2018. Steered by the riffs of Eddie Glass, Nebula tore through the turn of the millennium thanks to releases such as To The Center and Charged; must own LPs for anybody reading these words.

Also on the bill are barons of the Bayou, Eyehategod. Shaped by destruction, the sludge metal heroes have a life beaten coarseness that brings a next level of harshness to their sound. Pioneering sludge with their 1990 release, In the Name of Suffering, Eyehategod’s brutal assault through the nineties is something to behold. Then, after a decade away, the band came back stronger with 2014s self-titled, rawer, angrier and more driven than before. Having smashed The Electric Ballroom to pieces in 2015, Eyehategod are back at Desertfest.

We also have performances from High Priestess of occult rock Jex Thoth, stoner strut from champions of the Greek underground Planet of Zeus, the garage infused sound of Black Moth and the soulful proto-doom of The Black Wizards. Of course, that’s only the beginning. We have dozens of huge bands to announce over the next few months so keep your eyes open.

Alongside that mammoth announcement, tickets are now on sale for Desertfest 2018. As ever, we’re offering affordable hotel and hostel packages, which you can find out about here. Also, for the first time ever, we’re also offering a split payment plan. With our payment plan, you’ll pay half now and half early next year, making it easier to get your ticket for Desertfest 2018. For more info on our payment plan, click here.

It’s going to be another huge weekend in Camden. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for our 7th edition of Desertfest.

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Monster Magnet, Live in Lakewood, NJ, Oct. 1, 2016

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Monster Magnet, Spine of God & TAB: Quintessential

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

monster-magnet-spine-of-god

Simply put, Monster Magnet‘s 1991 debut, Spine of God, stands among the best heavy psych records ever made. It might be the single greatest achievement of sonic lysergism the East Coast has ever produced, and even if not, it’s superlative enough that, while it’s on, I can’t think of another to match it. It is an album that could be reissued every year and would still be worth buying, and it earns every bit of hyperbole that can be heaped upon it (and has; previously discussed here). Together with its space-rocking freakout companion-piece, the TAB EP (also often written as 25… Tab, Tab 25 and numerous other variations thereon; the band’s official discography lists it as you see in all-caps), it is a landmark that when originally released through Caroline and Glitterhouse Records helped set in motion not only the stoner rock scene in Monster Magnet‘s native New Jersey that continues to this day and has resulted in groups current and past like CoreSolaceThe Atomic BitchwaxSolarizedHalfway to GoneInfernal Overdrive, and so on.

A full 26 years after its initial release, 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 cliché 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)

Monster Magnet website

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Monster Magnet at Napalm Records website

Monster Magnet at Napalm Records webshop

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