Last Patrol

Monster Magnet

MATTHEW CHERNUS (7/10) It is hard to argue that Dave Wyndof is a visionary; his […]
By Matthew Chernus / Emily Coulter
October 21, 2013
Monster Magnet - Last Patrol album cover


It is hard to argue that Dave Wyndof is a visionary; his trippy, spacey, far-out song writing was basically the catalyst for the stoner metal genre. Combining the best elements of the acid rock movement with a hook laden 70's boogie Rock influence, MONSTER MAGNET made basement joint smoking music ready for an arena show on Venus. On "Last Patrol" the band sounds as alien as ever, maybe even prehistoric to those who grew up listening to the band as not much has changed but not altering your vision does not change being a visionary, right?

The record begins with the plodding "I Live Behind The Clouds", a journey into the mind of Wyndorf who is no normal dude. He wails "I stay behind the clouds", tortured, like a man who saw something he should not have and is living with the consequences. The title track sounds like a missing piece from 2004's stellar "Monolithic Baby", banging it's way to a huge chorus of crushing rhythmic assault. The sonic version 0f taking an adrenaline bong hit.

It's not all a walk through the smoke shop though; there are some straight misses like the messy "Hallelujah" where Wyndorf sounds like the worst southern preacher ever born again and the equally bizarre "Paradise"; a song better fit for a BLIND MELLON record, mysteriously caught in the mid-1990's.

"Mindless Ones" brings the band back to "Powertrip" form, reminding us why we like Monster Magnet...they fucking wail. This is bully music, the stuff the kids smoking behind the bleachers listened to. It is music meant to be blasted from a car stereo on an autumn night on the way to the bonfire.

At their best MONSTER MAGNET is American Rock at its beefiest but, at rare other times, the band falls flat, like a dated 90s hard rock act. Case in point the acoustic "Stay Tuned", perfectly fit for an episode of 120 Minutes, seems out of place here. "Last Patrol" should have ended with the blazing "End Of Time", which highlights what MONSTER MAGNET does best: space out.


Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as 'A decadent psych-Rock whirlpool', the stoner rock legends MONSTER MAGNET are releasing their 9th album 'Last Patrol' through Napalm Records. Travelling back to their psychedelic roots through the cosmos of time and space, MONSTER MAGNET's Dave Wyndorf sings of astro revenge, lust and estrangement.

Wyndorf, the last original member of the band wanted a home grown vibe to "Last Patrol" so teaming up with Phil Caivano in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey was a vital option. Caivano and Wyndorf have produced small projects in Caivano's Studio 13, they both love using vintage music styles which has had an obvious influence on this release. The lyrics to the album were written within one week in February, Wyndorf uses surrealism and science fiction to make "Last Patrol" into a trippy retro roller coaster.

Opening track "I Live Behind The Clouds" feels naked, completely stripped and raw. It does not need any special treatment, it is rare to hear a track as powerful but as special as this. MONSTER MAGNET's tracks typically start gentle then break in with psychedelic power and this is the prime example. Wyndorf is like wine, the older he gets, the better he is. His vocals make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention when his haunting voice sings. The guitarists play simple chords but still very effective, but it's the piano parts what send a shiver down your spine.

The nine and a half minute title track "Last Patrol" begins with the distorted whirring of guitar strings breaking into psychedelic cosmic rock. The song is mostly an instrumental track with only 3 minutes of vocals. Bob Pantella's repetitive drum fills and Garret Sweeney's guitar solos make you feel as if you are flying through time and space on an acid fuelled trip, "Last Patrol" is exactly why the band is classed as stoner rock.
Covering another artist's songs are always hard to do in a way to please fan's. MONSTER MAGNET have covered DONOVAN's ''Three Kingfishers'' in a very different way. Unlike DONOVAN'S sitar only version, MONSTER MAGNET have hard hitting doom guitars with solos included and brash drums. But no matter the changes made to make it into a unique cover  Wyndorf's vocals just do not fit, his vocals are too harsh and aged. Though the song is a good track and does fit with the theme of the album it does not live up to the original.

What makes "Paradise" shine is Caivano's rhythm guitar skills, simple but astonishing it stands out more than Sweeney's solo's. Pantella's drumming goes largely unnoticed though the lyrics of the track makes Wyndorf's vocals resemble a similar style to the legendary Johnny Cash. "Paradise" is not the strongest track of the album but it just has a spark which makes you listen to this repeatedly, it's the kind of song you'd listen to in the sun. "Hallelujah" is good old fashioned Hard Rock. Wyndorf's vocals are almost like he is speaking to a congregation whilst drunk on whiskey, though this should not be taken as a bad thing. It gives the track warmth, depth and a song to sing when you're drunk. The drums make you want to clap your hands to the beat however both guitars are very boring even though there is a solo included near the ending.

As Wyndorf's haunting voice projects over a tannoy, it is obvious that "Mindless Ones" is one of the best tracks on the album. MONSTER MAGNET get back to their roots in this track, all the members performing at the top of their game to perfect the original sound which is a mix of stoner, hard rock and psychedelic. Sweeney's solos give the acid Rock vibe which makes you feel lost within the lyrics and Pantella's drumming is dramatic but simple. This is the ultimate summer road trip song, could easily be on the soundtrack to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

"The Duke (Of Supernature)" has a dark blues edge, placing gentle acoustic sounds with raw electricity and violins. At halfway point the track breaks into a solid garage rock band, this is a nice gentle track to relax to unlike the previous higher velocity tracks. Penultimate track "End Of Time" begins with folk violins and Hard Rock violins. This song showcases Wyndorf's vocal range, his voice low in the verses and high in the chorus's. "End Of Time"feels like MONSTER MAGNET has listened to a lot of SCARS ON BROADWAY but thought last minute 'lets make this into a psychedelic Rock song'. However the second half of the 7.45 minute track has a heavy grunge/doom vibe, Sweeney shows how creative he can get with his solo's, the last solo is a mix of VELVET REVOLVER's "Slither" and LYNARD SKYNARD's "Free Bird". "Stay Tuned" is a calm ending to the psychedelic listening trip of "Last Patrol".  The lyrics heavily hint at another album in the making from the imagination of Wyndorf's mind. The acoustic and electric mix give the song a Hard Rock vibe with a little bit of doom.

MONSTER MAGNET  have created a near perfect album, if you want to experience a trip listen to this album. It takes you out of your mind and onto a completely different level of you conscious. Though Wyndorf is the only original member, the roots of the old band are still there but the members all have something new to give. There is a reason MONSTER MAGNET are said to be the gods of the stoner rock genre and this album is proof of that.

8 / 10


"Last Patrol" Track-listing:

1. I Live Behind the Clouds
2. Last Patrol
3. Paradise
4. Hallelujah
5. Mindless Ones
6. The Duke (of Supernature)
7. End of Time
8. Stay Tuned

Monster Magnet Lineup:

Dave Wyndorf - Vocals
Ed Mundell - Guitar
Phil Caivano - Guitar
Jim Baglino - Bass
Rob Pantella - Drums

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram