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Monster Magnet - 4-Way Diablo
on 23 January 2013
Monster Magnet's 2007 4-Way Diablo album has something of a bad reputation among a large section of the band's fans. Its often a toss up as to whether this, or the album which preceded it, is considered the band's worst ever album.
At the same time however, it was considered by a few fans and critics as more of a return to their early sound. That's not exactly 100% accurate in my opinion, there are certainly a few songs on here like `Cyclone' and their cover of The Rolling Stone's `2000 Lightyears From Home' that have a psychedelic touch to them, but the majority of the album is smooth, perfectly formed hard rock music just as it was on the equally disliked Monolithic Baby album.
At the end of the day, music is all about personal opinion, but I feel that maybe some people may dislike this album more out of its musical direction than the actual quality of the music on the disc. If you are the sort of fan who thinks that the band sold out after Spine Of God, or think the band have been going downhill generally, then this probably isn't going to blow your mind.
In my personal opinion however, I think this is a marvelous record. I like all the different eras of Monster Magnet, and don't think they've ever made a dull record. I've listened to this album dozens and dozens of times, and it has added a few songs to my list of all time Monster Magnet favourites.
The absolutely catchy and exciting `Wall Of Fire,' the dour and moody `Little Bag Of Gloom' and the aforementioned `Cyclone' are all fantastic songs, that display Dave Wyndorf's brilliant voice, lyrics and general personality. Even if you skip the record, you should probably check those songs out on their own.
As a whole album though, there's not much in the way of filler or out-of-place material. Everything is finely crafted, catchy rock with a memorable chorus and a clear production. I suppose for the nay-sayers that's very much the problem; some people only want Monster Magnet to be one thing, and this album sees them doing another one. For me, they do this other direction so well that I can listen to this, then listen to the classic material, and simply enjoy them both.
Overall; I really like 4-Way Diablo and listen to it fairly often, it works as a whole and has a few absolute stand out tracks too. It even features some of Dave's best melodic clean vocals to date. Don't be too put off by the negative reputation that the album has unless you are normally the kind of person to only like a band's earliest work. If you've got a fairly open mind regarding band's changing styles, and want some fun, well produced, personality filled, slightly commercialized Stoner Rock then this is a nice addition to your collection.