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Monster Magnet - Spine Of God (9/10) - USA - 1991/2006

Genre: Stoner Rock
Label: Steamhammer
Playing time: 58:37
Band homepage: Monster Magnet

Tracklist:

  1. Pill Shovel
  2. Medicine
  3. Nod Scene
  4. Black Mastermind
  5. Zodiac Lung
  6. Spine Of God
  7. Snake Dance
  8. Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
  9. Ozium
  10. Ozium (Bonus Demo Track)
Monster Magnet - Spine Of God

The first full-length album of the legends of MONSTER MAGNET this is and what an album it is given the year it was released originally. Years before loads of other bands began to do it massively Dave Wyndorf and co created a superb mix of heavy riffs, aggressive rock and intense 70’s psychedelics. And especially the latter is an integral part to their sound. Be it from the very first drum roll of the album to the heavy riffs of “Snake Dance” or the druggy “Ozium”; loads of spacey and psychedelic voices, keyboards, effects or whatever the drugs tell them to use, are always there to take you on a strange journey to the outskirts of your mind.

 

However, unlike the EP “Tab” which was recorded before this album (it was released after though) “Spine Of God” is more focused towards riffs and a general Stoner Rock feeling instead of just pure psychedelics. This creates many memorable moments, like they very simple but incredibly cool and groovy “Medicine” or “Black Mastermind were you would almost swear that Geezer Butler was playing the bass. Not only that, but many parts of this song among others make it very clear that SABBATH’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” album has seen a lot rotation on the band members’ record players.

 

“Zodiac Lung” is a great song taking a very different direction; a very emotional and depressing song with a clear singer/songwriter style. Wyndorf’s voice is almost Lennon-esque at times while the song itself even sounds a little like the solo works of JOHN FRUSCIANTE. The title track continues with this dark atmosphere and for a while it’s just an eclectic vocal solo a la Jim Morrison supported by bass but after a few minutes it really climaxes in intense fashion. Let it be clear however that I by no means want to compare the vocal abilities of Wyndorf and Morrison though, as the latter of course is an incomparable legend.

 

“Snake Dance” is one of the more regular rockers of the album, but because of the lyrics it can be considered a classic anthem for those who enjoy a good joint in a while! Same goes for the next song which is another very fine groovy rocker with a fantastic solo. After that it’s time for a double take of the song “Ozium”, a very smooth and emotional song, quite different from the rest of the album, bar the heavy psychedelic section. The second Demo version, included on the re-release is much fuzzier in sound and fits the album quite well, but I don’t have a clear favorite.

 

Which brings me to the fact of re-releasing this album and the “Tab” EP itself. One can always argue about the necessity of a re-release but it of course has already been over 15 years since the originals came into existence and with the cool artwork and bonus tracks you won’t hear me complaining. It goes without saying that the music on offer is of a very high level and can be considered classics in the genre. (Online April 16, 2006)

Milan Elkerbout



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