Monster Magnet – “Mindfucker”

Monster Magnet – “Mindfucker” (Napalm Records) 

Battle Helm Rating

Mindfucker?…Mindfucker! Now that’s a name you’re gonna remember although it seems fitting coming New Jersey stoner gods Monster Magnet. Still, listening to the 10 magic tracks here, there’s certainly the familiar stoner psych style, but this time round, it looks like Dave Wyndorf has taken a few anarchic leaves from the Detroit rock of the MC5 and the Stooges, perhaps unsurprisingly given the current political climate and its resulting social unrest, but equally, his dismay at his nation’s addiction to the media. As such, the material on “Mindfucker”, while retaining stoner tinges, is a helluva lot more feisty, even angry and charged compared to the laid back grooves normally emanating from his side of the Holland Tunnel. But in the expert hands of the 61 year old Wyndorf, who’s been in the game since 1989, it doesn’t just work a treat but marvellously complements Monster Magnet’s previous 10 releases. From the colossal rolling grooves of the title track ‘Mindfucker’, not to mention its massively catchy chorus of ‘….you’re a mindfucker baby, setting fire to my bed…’ the guitars unload stoner riffs with proto punk breaks all over the place culminating in a riotous instrumental ending to the chanting sound of ‘…why you gotta fuck with my head? why you gotta fuck with my head?!!..’ – yeah, kick out the jams man! Beginning quietly enough, when the huge wah of ‘Drowning’ comes flooding in you know why this song has its name, especially when Wyndorf’s own powering vocals take the slow mood into epic soundscape proportions, although the guitar contrasts throughout this track really dictate the emotional impact of the incredible atmosphere on show here. Following the cover of Hawkwind’s ‘Ejection’, the raw tones of ‘Want Some’ heralds the band’s own street fighting space rock – complete with massive cowbell – and of course, yet another massively culminating catchy chorus of ‘… I make all of my music in outer space and I’m the stone cold future of the human race…’ backed by wailing melodies and layered harmonies, along with some frantic drum breaks. Incredible songs, amazing musicianship and instant addiction, this album is truly a “Mindfucker” – and then some. 

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