Monster Magnet – Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux) (Napalm)Sunday, 6th December 2015
Any chance they’ll revamp Dopes to Infinity? Monster Magnet, in their space-rocking, proto-stoner rock glory, have found it upon themselves to provide alternative versions of two of their most recent albums. Last year, they gave 2013’s Last Patrol the treatment; now they’re giving 2010’s Mastermind a go via Cobras and Fire (The Mastermind Redux). It’s quite the novel approach, actually, and, far more interesting than classic bands giving their classic albums a sonic “update.” Dave Wyndorf and gang don’t settle for such typical measures.
Essentially, the idea here was to take the original songs and give them a 60’s psychedelic rock edge, to which, is less heavy (of course), but in line with the original’s sort of carefree, drugs-are-good ‘roll. Wyndorf is the real catch, as always, laying down his imitable lines of world observations and tales of women doing their ‘thing. Such groovin’ and Hammond organ fun makes its way through opener “She Digs That Hole,” and “Gods and Punks,” the latter emerging as one of the songs that received the best face-lift, if you will. Furthermore, Wyndorf and crew saw fit to stretch out some these jams, extending the instrumental portions, bringing in the psych like it’s no problem. (See: “When the Planes Fall From the Sky.”)
Just a really cool, fun set, which while light in the heavy loafers (that’s no big deal), showcases Wyndorf’s creative savvy. And as time wears on and Monster Magnet adds more albums to their credit, it helps regenerate the idea of just how slick the band were in their 90s heyday, which in spite of some very public stumbles in the early 00s, seems now like a distant memory. Monster Magnet aren’t getting any younger, but they certainly remain just as hip.