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Monster Magnet

Entry updated 24 September 2021. Tagged: Music.

American rock band formed in New Jersey in 1989. There have been several line-up changes: the original members were Dave Wyndorf, Tim Cronin and John McBain; by 1993 only Wyndorf, the main creative force and songwriter, remained. The group's sound is stoner rock, being musically influenced by such early 1970s bands as Black Sabbath and Hawkwind.

Marvel Comics are a clear inspiration (one track is named "Ego the Living Planet", whilst the lyrics to "Mindless Ones" reference the Doctor Strange mythos), and particularly the works of Jack Kirby: the song "Melt" includes the line "And I was thinkin' how the world should have cried on the day Jack Kirby died." Songs brim with Drug, satanic, sexual (see Sex) and sf references. The following from "Elephant Bell" is typical: "Ain't gonna stand in the rocket's shadow, my mama's waiting for me on the Moon, my dick just got a million times bigger, I'll be pumping Andromeda soon" (see Great and Small; Moon; Rockets).

Lyrics are not usually narrative-focused – Wyndorf has said that even in a song about a romantic break-up, he will focus on being "visually evocative ... exploding planets. Supernovas. Biblical references. Natural disasters ... everything on 11!". Sf imagery is also used as a metaphor for drug euphoria ("Well I stand on the mountains of Mars, sparking up", from "Pill Shovel"). However, if taken literally, "Space Lord" concerns an Alien ("I lost my soul when I fell to Earth, my planets called me to the void of my birth"); "Time Machine" is about a broken Time Machine (and/or nostalgia), whilst "When the Planes Fall from the Sky" foresees the End of the World and an adulterous Galactus.

The earlier albums have a psychedelic influence which is less noticeable in the more orthodox hard rock of later releases, though two of these, Mastermind (2010) and Last Patrol (2013), were subsequently re-recorded with arrangements inspired by late 1960s/early 1970s rock (and are the better for it). [SP]

works (selected):

  • We're Stoned, What Are You Going to Do About It? (USA: Cool Beans, 1989), cassette only.
  • Monster Magnet (Germany: Glitterhouse Records, 1990), EP.
  • Spine of God (Germany: Glitterhouse Records, 1991)
  • Superjudge (Europe: A&M, 1993)
  • Dopes to Infinity (Europe: A&M, 1995)
  • Powertrip (Europe: A&M, 1998)
  • God Says No (Europe: A&M, 2000)
  • Monolithic Baby! (Germany: Steamhammer, 2004)
  • 4-Way Diablo (Germany: Steamhammer, 2007)
  • Mastermind (Europe: Napalm Records, 2010)
  • Last Patrol (Europe: Spinning Goblin Productions, 2013)
  • Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol (USA & Europe, Napalm Records, 2014)
  • Cobras and Fire: The Mastermind Redux (USA & Europe, Napalm Records, 2015)
  • Mindfucker (USA/Europe: Napalm Records, 2018)
  • A Better Dystopia (Europe: Napalm Records, 2021)


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