Great. Just when I was planning to cut back on smoking weed this album arrives. And it screams out really, really loud: GO GET STONED! NOW! Although I did resist the temptation till now this album will probably be better when under influence. What’s uncanny though is that I, being a big Stoner Rock fan, have never heard a whole lot of MONSTER MAGNET in my life. I’ve always focused on KYUSS and their likes. Admittedly, musically this isn’t a Stoner Rock album per se, but more of a very psychedelic Rock album. The affinity with Stoner Rock is absolutely there though.
This “Tab” album is an EP recorded before their first full-length album “Spine Of God” but it was released afterwards. Also don’t be fooled by the EP designation as the playing time of the album almost reaches an hour and is in fact only a few minutes shorter then the debut album recorded after it. For sure the longest EP I know of!
Basically the centerpiece of the album is the title track, which is a colossal psychedelic drug trip lasting over half an hour. It’s incredibly laid back yet changes all the time in a very slow way. The only thing that’s a constant for the most part is a very simple bass line supporting the whole song. On top of that there are insanely spaced out sounds, effects, keyboards and psychedelic guitar leads. And on top of those layers of acid induced psychedelics there’s a whole range of voices, from simple spoken parts, to squeaky voices to actual vocals. It’s like HAWKWIND in the extreme and I expect both bands took similar drugs when recording their music. It’s neither a song for everyone or one for every moment but when the time is right the experience can be brilliant.
If your mind hasn’t left for outer space by then MONSTER MAGNET continues with “25” which takes a whole different direction. Still some psychedelics here but now it’s a real (Stoner) Rock song with actual riffs and some pretty brilliant ones at that, not to mention the smooth solos. Dave Wyndorf’s voice still has effect-layers over it like crazy but it sounds brilliant. And to give the song a good tempo the drums are pretty fast and rocking hard.
“Longhair” is a great upbeat song with some fantastic guitar playing, groovy bass lines and really intense solos. “Lord 13” sounds very different from the rest because it was recorded on a 4-track, we all know how those sound, but it gives such a lot of charm to the song, especially the very distant drum sound is perfect for a spaced out experience. The song itself is really good, the vocals sound really fucked up, really druggy, but this whole Jam like atmosphere is brilliant, especially for the climax at the end.
An absolutely fantastic album to get completely wasted on, but this level of psychedelics isn’t for everyone and especially the title track is very different from modern day MONSTER MAGNET. (Online April 13, 2006)