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Monster Magnet - 4 - Way Diablo

Label: SPV
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

I am a huge Monster Magnet fan. I wasn't always. I used to hate them. I thought, "These guys are way too bluesy for me. I don't get it."

That was until "Dopes to Infinity" came out. Something about 'Negasonic Teenage Warhead' kicked inside my skull and I changed my tune. Suddenly, I understood. Dave Wyndorf and Co. were not about what everyone else was about. They were cool in their own way and in their own Universe. I became a fan. I accumulated all their albums (well, almost all).


I think we have all heard about Mr. Wyndorf's struggles to overcome addiction - or at least come to terms with it. There seemed to be a bright period (and I personally hoped it would not cause the music to suffer as in so many cases) when he appeared to have accomplished this task. Then, there was the inevitable fall.

Now, we have "4 - Way Diablo" in front of us. In some ways, it is Monster Magnet. In some ways it is not. "4 - Way" has all the cock rock bluster of past releases but there is something ever so subtle about it. You really have to listen closely to hear it. It is almost as if Mr. Wyndorf has found peace with his addiction. It does not have the same brash bravado of previous works but a mature attention to sound. "4 - Way" has a classic rock feel, a sound that would not be out of place with Led Zep, Rolling Stones, or any of those bands. Yet, there is still the metal feel to the songs but it is from the perspective of a veteran who knows what he has won - and lost. If you were a fan before, you will not be disappointed by this album.

One of my favorite songs is 'Cyclone'. It is a slow paced, personal song. Mr. Wyndorf's lyrics are somewhat haunting and add to that feeling of a person who has seen too much pain but knows they must survive despite this fact. Many artists, after frequent battles with addiction, may sound tired and worn, not so here. Mr. Wyndorf sounds somewhat defiant.

To further emphasize my comparison, Monster Magnet cover the Rolling Stones' '2000 Light Years From Home'. At first, I thought this was an original song - that is how comfortable it feels with the rest of the songs. I will betray my musicological ignorance here but I am not very familiar with the Rolling Stones hits or catalogue so I don't know when they constructed this song. Yet, it is an effective tune on this release as a cover.

The best song by far has got to be 'No Vacation'. It captures a menace that is not unknown to Monster Magnet and has a very tight groove to it that will remind the listener of “Powertrip”. One of the most poignant songs, and another of my favorites, is 'I'm Calling You'. It has that dramatic feeling of emotion that is slightly unspoken. It is definitely the cig-lighter song of this album. It sent shivers down my spine.

All in all, Monster Magnet manage to pull of an amazing album that is timeless and fits well with their back catalogue. It is already a favorite of mine and it is an excellent return to form (and then some). It is just a shame that touring is such a trigger for Mr. Wyndorf's addiction that we may not see them tour in support of this one. Don't let this stop you from showing your support, get this album.

Just the same, welcome back Mr. Wyndorf - why don't you stay awhile.

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