Monster Magnet – “Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux)” (Napalm Records)
After the success of “Last Patrol” re-imagined into “Milking The Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol”, Monster Magnet have re-worked their magic again on 2010’s “Mastermind” – now reduxed into “Cobras and Fire”! As with “Milking…”, Dave Wyndorf & co have taken their previous hard / stoner rocks songs and tripped the light fantastic on a total bender in tune to hippy rock and the psychedelic 60s. While not going as far as space rock, this is one of those albums that to you can listen to, late at night, comfortable in the warm embrace of its mental escapism as you sail away to its surreality like Hawkwind meeting Apocalypse Now!! Wyndorf has done a superb job on the material here, from subtle changes to full blown overhauls thus answering the all important question of how different the re-dux is to the original. Bonus track ‘Watch Me Fade’ is the same length but less stoner than before and more psychedelic 60s with its trippy guitars and cool Hammond organ while ‘Hallucination Bomb‘ has gone from a five minute heavy stoner rocker to a nine minute karmic groover with its sitar like guitars that culminates into almost cow rock with its sliding guitars prompting the question: has the New Jersey residing Wyndorf ever been to Bon Jovi’s house?! Old fave ‘God and Punks’ is radically different from being a four minute stoner rocker with its prominent guitar to now a deep, seven minute trip with even more hippy guitar throughout and considerably less noisy than before – and the list goes on with even The Temptations soul brutha ‘Ball Of Confusion’ now a kaftan wearing, levitating seven minute bong trip! Ye gods, has Wyndorf finally fallen over the edge?! Barking mad, yet also brilliant and bold, Monster Magnet have once again done it on “Cobras and Fire”, promising that the songs are definitely not the same and that equally, you will not be the same too.