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Monster Magnet

Retro-rock visionaries Monster Magnet spent much of the 1990s struggling against the prejudices imposed uponimageandsound byalternative rock fashion nazis. In fact, it wasn't until that movement's late-'90s decline that theband'sdoggedpersistence finally paid off,when their fourth album, Powertrip, catapulted to gold sales status on the strengthof itsmassivehard rock hit, "Space Lord." In themeantime, Monster Magnet had managed to become one of the mostsuccessfulandinfluential bands associated with the so-calledunderground "stoner rock" scene. And yet, their influences spanmuchfurtherthan ...read more

Retro-rock visionaries Monster Magnet spent much of the 1990s struggling against the prejudices imposed uponimageandsound byalternative rock fashion nazis. In fact, it wasn't until that movement's late-'90s decline that theband'sdoggedpersistence finally paid off,when their fourth album, Powertrip, catapulted to gold sales status on the strengthof itsmassivehard rock hit, "Space Lord." In themeantime, Monster Magnet had managed to become one of the mostsuccessfulandinfluential bands associated with the so-calledunderground "stoner rock" scene. And yet, their influences spanmuchfurtherthan that scene's foundations in '70s hard rock and metal,delving into space rock, psychedelia, and beyond.

New Jersey native Dave Wyndorf was already a rock & roll veteran by the time he formed Monster Magnet in 1989,havingcuthis teeth withlittle-known punk band Shrapnel (also featuring future punk producer Daniel Rey on guitars) in thelate'70sbefore retiring from musicaltogether. But, after teaching himself guitar, Wyndorf began assembling Monster Magnetwithahandful of fellow New Jersey natives,vocalist Tim Cronin, guitarist John McBain, bassist Joe Callandra, anddrummerJonKleiman. Fusing their metal, punk, space rock, andpsychedelic influences, the band developed a sludgy, feedback. heavyhardrock sound that helped them stand out from the era's burgeoningretro-rock movement -- also counting theBlackCrowes,White Zombie, and many others. After releasing a self-titled six-song EP throughGermany's GlitterhouseRecords,Wyndorfassumed all vocal responsibilities, while Cronin retreated to a behind the scenes "conceptualconsultant"position --much likethat of John Sinclair for the MC5.

In the meantime, Monster Magnet had signed with independent label Caroline Records in 1992, and recorded their first full-length album:the very impressive, uniquely dark psychedelic masterpiece Spine of God. The productive sessions alsoyieldedanumber of extensivespace rock jams that would later be issued as the Tab album in 1993. A video for firstsingle"Medicine"and a support tour with the fast-rising Soundgarden also helped attract powerhouse A&M Records, but evenasthey preparedto sign with the label, Wyndorf had a seriousfalling-out with guitarist McBain, who was soon replaced byEdMundell. Despitethe last-minute change, 1993's Superjudge proved to be astellar major-label debut -- although it did seetheband sacrificingsome of their rampant feedback in exchange for more clearly defined,muscular metal riffs. Unfortunately,thegroup's retro-rock image had become highly unfashionable at the time, arriving at the height of thepost-Nirvanaalternativeboom, and thealbum sold poorly. Under mounting pressure to deliver a more commercial follow-up, MonsterMagnetdelivered adecidedlysleeker -- though no less space rock-drenched -- effort in 1995's Dopes to Infinity. This yielded a TopTenrocksingle in"Negasonic Teenage Warhead" and was supported by extensive touring with C.O.C., among others, but thealbumsoldonlyslightly better than its predecessor.

Finding himself mentally and physically exhausted in the aftermath, Wyndorf exiled himself to Las Vegas to begincomposingthetracks thatwould shape 1998's breakthrough release, Powertrip. By far the group's most straightforward hardrockalbum,Powertrip channeled all of SinCity's vice, greed, and sex into its hedonistic but surprisingly accessible tracks, andfirstsingle"Space Lord" went on to dominate rockradio that summer, driving the album over the gold sales plateau. Withnewrhythmguitarist Phil Caivano in tow, Monster Magnet thenembarked on a marathon two-year world tour, both as aheadlinerand assupport to the likes of Aerosmith, Metallica, and Megadeth. By theyear 2000, the band had contributed thetrack"SilverFuture" to the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack and completed work on their fifth album,God Says No, released inEuropeinOctober. But their new American record label, Interscope (which had swallowed A&M in a hostiletakeover theyearbefore)inexplicably fussed and messed with the album before finally releasing it domestically in April 2001.Preciousmomentumandsales were therefore lost to an influx of import copies of God Says No -- according to most seasonedfans,alreadya"difficult," overtly commercial album to begin with -- and Monster Magnet soon found themselves rudelydropped.

Following this unforeseen setback, Wyndorf watched as various bandmembers pursued side projects. Ed Mundellrecordedanumber of well-received albums with his power trio the Atomic Bitchwax, while Tim Cronin and Jon Kleimancollaborated ontheRibeye Brothers and Galleryof Mites. But, Monster Magnet duly reunited for a short North American tour inearly 2002 and,ayear later, a new deal with the German SPVlabel was announced. Recorded in late 2003, the group's sixthfull-lengthalbum,2004's Monolithic Baby!, would be recorded with a newrhythm section, these being bassist Jim Baglino anddrummerBobPantella. In 2005, Phil Caivano left the band amicably, and the rest of thegroup started recording in L.A. withproducerMattHyde. Reissues of Tab and Spine of God were released in the meantime, along with a 20thCentury Masters --MillenniumCollection disc of their greatest hits. In November 2007, after a European tour, 4-Way Diablo was released.In2009MonsterMagnet signed with metal label Napalm Records, and the next year released their eighth album, Mastermind. « hide

Similar Bands: Farflung, The Atomic Bitchwax, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic , Black Rainbows, Spiritual Beggars

LPs
Last Patrol
10/15/2013

3.7
51 Votes
Mastermind
2010

3.2
52 Votes
4-Way Diablo
2007

3.1
45 Votes
Monolithic Baby!
2004

3.6
64 Votes
God Says No
2000

3.5
74 Votes
Powertrip
1998

3.8
165 Votes
Dopes to Infinity
1995

4.1
154 Votes
Superjudge
1993

3.8
81 Votes
Spine of God
1991

4
101 Votes
EPs
Tab
1992

3.7
32 Votes
Monster Magnet (EP)
1990

3.7
14 Votes
Compilations
Milking The Stars
2014

3.6
10 Votes

Contributors: Mad., rockandmetaljunkie, Donchivo, Draven65, Nexion, AlienEater, Alex101, Clobyn, rockandmetaljunkie, BMDrummer, Voivod,

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