TOP TEN MONSTER MAGNET TUNES
When it comes to selecting the top ten tunes by New Jersey rock gods/space lords Monster Magnet we could very easily list everything on their debut album, Spine Of God, and then just go down the pub, job done. Equally, we could list everything from the Powertrip album of 1998, both records being absolutely stunning from beginning to end. But wait, what about the brilliant Superjudge? What about Dopes To Infinity and Mastermind? Shit, this is not going to be easy…
10/ Slut Machine (Monolithic Baby, 2004)
Three years after the disappointing God Says No, Monolithic Baby was another of Monster Magnet’s lesser albums, essentially God Say No…I Really Mean It This Time. Not a bad album, but by no means their best. The opening track, Slut Machine, however, concerning the bumping of uglies, kicked ass, and made a welcome appearance in Sons Of Anarchy.
9/ Third Alternative (Dopes To Infinity, 1995)
There are more obvious choices from the excellent Dopes To Infinity album, not least the title track and the minor hit, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but the eight and a half minute epic, Third Alternative, is arguably a better tune, all sweeping crescendos, like some giant wave of psychedelia. Like it says in the song, “Sometimes I hope this torture just goes on!”
8/ Cage Around The Sun (Superjudge, 1993)
Another song that comes in waves, on Cage Around The Sun we find frontman Dave Wyndorf calmly crooning and strumming away on acoustic guitar for almost two minutes, before suddenly coming on heavier than a rhino in lead boots, then drifting back to that acoustic riff. It ends with nearly a minute of Wyndorf screaming. Only Monster Magnet can do this.
7/ Melt (God Says No, 2001)
How the fuck do you follow Powertrip? You don’t; it’s impossible. Like we mentioned, God Say No was a disappointment, but in hindsight there are some gems here amongst stinkers like Kiss Of The Scorpion, particularly the opening track, Melt, which damn near eclipses everything else on the album. A diamond in the rough.
6/ She Digs That Hole (Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux), 2015)
Let’s face it, Monster Magnet has always made sexy music, conducive to horizontal dancing, it’s just that She Digs That Hole is a little more blatant than singing about talking to planets. It is, in fact, a song about bum sex – “A little starfish, the perfect way to end my day” – originally recorded for the Mastermind album, then reworked on Cobras And Fire. Splendid.
5/ Zodiac Lung (Spine Of God, 1991)
Oh such bitter perfection. “When I die, it’ll be because of you. And there I’ll lie, they’ll all point at you!” Everything about this hateful dirge is simply masterful, from that weird droning guitar in the background, like an angry hornet trapped in a jar, to each and every spite-filled syllable. You’ve got to really hate someone to write a song like this.
4/ Bored With Sorcery (Mastermind, 2010)
After a few years in the doldrums the Magnet made a huge return to form with Mastermind, and there is no better example than the thumping Bored With Sorcery. Granted, it’s not the most complex work in their arsenal, just straight ahead, driving, rock ‘n’ roll, laced, as always, with undertones of Hawkwind, but it’s guaranteed to get you a speeding ticket.
3/ 19 Witches (Powertrip, 1998)
Before you start complaining, I wasted hours and damn near threw the computer out of the window trying to select the right track here. Crop Circle, Space Lord, the absolutely sublime Your Lies Become You… Powertrip is just a fantastic album. 19 Witches, however, sounds like something off a Tarantino soundtrack, all dusty highways leading to strange motels and stranger women, and for that reason… No wait, how about 3rd Eye Landslide? Oh fuck it!
2/ Spine Of God (Spine Of God, 1991)
Imagine Captain Willard from Apocalypse Now punching out mirrors on the Manson Family ranch, on a hundred hits of acid, and you might get close enough to the madness that is Spine Of God: “Why don’t you see it for what it is? A fucking freak show! If you take a lot it will kill you!” Yeah, and what a way to die.
1/ Powertrip (Powertrip, 1998)
Seriously, what the hell else did you expect at number one? The ultimate slackers anthem, this, the title track of Monster Magnet’s forth album, is also one of their biggest hits (second to Space Lord) and comes with a bonkers video featuring fire, the obligatory semi-clad ladies, and Wyndorf in an inflatable rubber suit. Play very loud.