Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's a Planet of the Apes and a third eye kinda thing!, 13 Feb 2010
This review is from: Superjudge (Audio CD)
And here it is, Monster Magnet's finest album, and, by extension, one of the finest albums in the whole genre of psychedelic rock 'n' roll.

For some, this is the band's last great moment before they step down an increasingly commercialised path. (Not, I should add, that I agree with this, but it's definitely a view held by a proportion of the Magnetised. Personally, I think anyone discounting the next five albums needs their head read, but there you go.) For Dave Wyndorf, it's a deeply incomplete album, released to the public before he'd had a chance to layer it with the effects he intended it to have: for a more fully-realised vision of what he intended, see 'Dopes To Infinity', which he by far and away prefers. But then, don't you so often find that bands are rarely that fond of their greatest record? Just look at Anthrax and their own lukewarm appraisal of 'Among The Living'. For me, you see, this is the Magnet at their peak for one reason alone: the best songs. And let's go further: THE best song, 'Black Balloon', last track on the record and finest song the band have ever given birth to, a beautiful, bitter, emotive piece of low-key genius that I'm happy to count amongst my personal favourites.

But this is hardly a 'one outstanding moment, everything else not bad' state of affairs. We have those wonderful tracks in which Dave mythologises himself as a cosmic spaced-out sex-god, such as `Cage Around The Sun' or the lyrically superb `Face Down', clear forbears to the whole `bestriding the solar system in demonic starborne flares' tunes on `Dopes...' and `Powertrip'. We have those hard-rockin' Hawkwind-esque ditties like `Dinosaur Vacume' and `Stadium' and we have a pair of ingenious covers in the form of `Brainstorm' (Hawkwind, natch) and `Evil (Is Going On)' by Willie Dixon and Howling Wolf. And of course, this is the first Magnet album to feature guitarist Ed Mundell, so pivotal to the band's sound. Yes, the production is a bit sparse, spare and dry, and yes, you have to work a little bit harder to excavate the band's sounds and incorporate them into your headspace. But by Dave, it's worth it. A barn-storming collection of tunes, `Superjudge' remains a crowning glory of its genre, and merits a place in the collection of any serious devotee of tripped-out rock.
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G. Meldrum
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Scotland, UK

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