Company: Napalm Records Release: 2013 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Strutter
Rock-solid pure aural ecstasy
There are few bands that evoke a genre and there are more bands than not who lack the relevance and exceptionality that is the cornerstone of New Jersey's own Monster Magnet.
Commercial success, battles to keep artistic identity intact and ten albums later you have a band that for 20+ years has successfully fused garage rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, punk and psychedelia in a cinematic way that begs the listener to sonically arrive at a drive-in , attach the speakers and travel to a place that is both alien and familiar--a spot where Troma films play on heavy rotation and snacks are dubious but you're eating them anyway. "Last Patrol" comes at a time when fans are clamoring to hear from their toxic avenger and lead singer Wyndorf is more than happy to lead you back again.
Wyndorf notes, "It's a weird trip through the back alleys of a dark, retro-future, which not by coincidence very much resembles my own life. The lyrics aren't fantasy really, rather a recounting of my musings on, observations of and general emotional reaction to my life and environment during a one week writing period in February of 2013. But I tend to use the vernacular and imagery of science fiction and surrealism to express myself and that's where these lyrics get trippy."
"Last Patrol" is Monster Magnet's tenth studio album (Napalm Records) and a testament to everything they and Dave Wyndorf the mesmeric, magnetic, mastermind behind Monster Magnet are about. The mood is set with track one "I Live Behind the Clouds" which is a slow, purposeful trip into a moonlit night. Stripped down and glorifying in its musical bare bones, it gives a pedestal to Wyndorf's deep gravel vocals and before you know it moves into the title track "Last Patrol"; clocking in at over 9 minutes it gives Wyndorf the room he needs to explore lyrically-- knotty and full of twists and turns it exemplifies the kind of poetic prowess that Wyndorf has given Monster Magnet for over two decades.
"Paradise" and "Hallelujah" demonstrate a yin and yang--smooth and velvety vocals and a primal scream of thrusting guitars and a steady back beat. "The Duke (of Supernature)" is Wyndorf at his sleazy, seedy, greasy best, think Alex Mitchell or Tom Englund but unprocessed and organic.
Produced by former MM member Phil Caivano, it's clear that Caivano tapped into the atmosphere that swirls around and lifts Monster Magnet above the rest. "Last Patrol" is rock-solid pure aural ecstasy. Wyndorf states he wanted to make a "midnight record" and if "Last Patrol" is that, you won't want daylight to break the mood.
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