Monster Magnet
4-Way Diablo


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
December 28th, 2013 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "You're alive, you're alive, baby, you're so alive!"

Monster Magnet found commercial success where nobody thought it was possible. Their stoner hard rock blend with occasional psychedelic outings has always flirted with the mainstream, as it was more immediate and digestible for the masses than any of their fellow peers' music. When Powertrip finally brought them into the wide public's eyes, it turned them from cult status into full blown rock stars. Still, Dave Wyndorf & Co. never compromised and kept his fantasy going the way he'd planned, so he fed his fans with two inspired, yet financially disastrous efforts, God Says No and Monolithic Baby!. He was aware of the upcoming consequences, but reproducing the hits as second-hand material is something these guys would never lower themselves to do. At the same time, their shows became increasingly renowned as wild and cathartic and so did the lifestyle. All the heavy touring and partying got the best of them, especially out of the mastermind front man, Dave Wyndorf.

Waiting for a follow up to hit the streets, MM was put to a halt when the man overdosed on sleeping pills in February 2006. While such unfortunate events can easy cease activity or produce major changes in both sound and mindset, Dave returned with 4-Way Diablo, a record that not only showed his full recovery, but his will to move on from the decadent predecessors. What started as a garage-psych project, reportedly turned more into a masked, rarities/b-sides compilation interspersed with newer material. There are elements of the original plans that pop up especially on the title track and several segments of others, but it became a blend of old and new, with some gems and average tunes.

Highlights include the fantastic, straightforward rocker, 'Wall Of Fire', that kicks in like a punch in the face, showing that Dave feels stronger than ever. Its irresistible chorus and infectious melody makes it classic Monster Magnet. Also, 'Blow Your Mind' and 'Slap In The Face' are both powerful and groovy. They have cool rhythms which showcase that trademark bad ass attitude that got the band renowned in the first place. For the old fans, who got their psychedelic stoner fix from their early output, there's 'Freeze And Pixelate', an interesting, Eastern-tinged instrumental that segues into the late night jam, 'A Thousand Stars', which has a nice, desert vibe.

The lyrics are another interesting aspect, since they focus more on moments before and after the overdose. In between all the witty comments, there are various inserted lines where Dave confesses the impending doom using different scenarios such as this one on the title track: "I was smoking on a cigarette/I was waiting on a plane/When I saw reality just go down the drain[...]The 4-Way Diablo is coming back again". He knows he's lucky to be alive (hell, 'You're Alive' directly addresses this) and finally, on the short, album-closing ditty, 'Little Bag Of Gloom', he gives some advice to the listeners: "Think we're falling into darkness, running blind/You got troubles, yes it's true, and they all begin with you/If you don't let somebody in, you're gonna die in liar's gin". Much like all his lyrics, most is masked under a science-fiction/fantasy curtain, but taking it from a man in his 50s, who lived the rock'n'roll experience for over 15 years prior the event, it must mean something.

Unfortunately, 4-Way Diablo is the first Monster Magnet effort that feels too long. They have always maintained those album-oriented concepts and somehow each one came with its own complete journey. Here, however, there are some tracks that tend to drag and go nowhere, such as 'I'm Calling You', 'No Vacation' or 'Solid Gold'. They are nice, yet they pale in comparison to the highlights. If trimmed, the album would've been tighter and easier to digest. Nevertheless, it's still impressive, considering the fact that the bulk of it is comprised mostly out of old ideas. Even though Dave didn't detail the origins of the tunes, it shows how constantly good these guys really are and there was a time when everything they recorded turned to gold. So, this is a record that will be cherished most by hardcore fans, but newcomers and casual listeners can easily get fond of the highlights.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So yeah, this isn't one of the band's best material, but it has its moments. We're lucky for this to even exist after the overdose. Constructive criticism is welcomed.

4-Way Diablo - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3psuTo6UY_8
Wall Of Fire - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJH6W-c-Rgw
Blow Your Mind - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYkNh3w6hcE
A Thousand Stars - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_jlsyWSRg
Slap In The Face - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adf7bQ8W6Ck

Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

Mad.
December 28th 2013


4068 Comments


Awesome review, nice to see a more lengthy one!

Have only heard a couple of tracks from their newest but I might try them again.
Have you heard Atomic Bitchwax? They're closely associated with this band and absolutely brilliant, try their second album, it's streaming in full on YouTube

manosg
December 28th 2013


6536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good choice for review Raul, I'm surprised this album didn't have one already.

This is my least enjoyable MM album and it definitely feels way too long as you wrote. Nevertheless, their albums almost always seem to me a bit on the long side.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. The new record is great, I believe they've been trying to do Last Patrol since Monolithic Baby!, but only revolved around it with 4-Way Diablo and Mastermind. If you haven't heard their earlier stuff, try Dopes To Infinity and Powertrip.

I like The Atomic Bitchwax, they're really cool. Pantella and Kosnik are touring with Monster Magnet at the moment. I hope I'll catch them live in Budapest in January.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Manosg - Thanks. I find this record a bit underrated and it sucks Dave doesn't include some of the songs on the live setlists. I find Mastermind their least interesting album. It's too long and there are few tracks that are fun and catchy.

manosg
December 28th 2013


6536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed, Mastermind is a bit dull for me too. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by their latest effort though, it's much better than I expected.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I'm happy they pulled it off. I hope they'll keep up the good work for the next ones too.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2013


6286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man, I also enjoyed this album when it came out.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! The highlights are awesome, especially Wall Of Fire.

Mad.
February 13th 2014


4068 Comments


That album title definitely sounds like some hella dirty sex move

manosg
February 14th 2014


6536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a bad album but their second worst imo.

Froot
November 17th 2014


1406 Comments


Damn if Raul likes this band I should probably have already begun checking them out by now.

Only thing I've heard off of this is I'm Calling You, which I thought was the darkest shit ever when I was 15.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Drukqs



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