Music review: Last Patrol
Meat and potatoes. Yellow dal and steamed rice. Aloo-Puri. Home-cooked, comfort food. Simple, easy to digest, delicious, but most importantly, satisfying. It nourishes, delights, lifts your spirits, and stays with you
You can slot in Monster Magnet’s tenth album, Last Patrol, in this category. Here, the sludge lords from New Jersey turn the clock back to give you a smattering of their past.
A tasty collection of nine songs (eleven if you include the bonus tracks) that is more psychedelic, spacey and atmospheric than their last few releases.
Produced by frontman, Dave Wyndorf and rhythm guitarist Phil Caviano, Last Patrol roughly follows the classic early 1990’s Monster Magnet formula. A distinctive, slow start that casually builds up to an overwhelming wall of sound, infused with some excellent guitar solos and Wyndorf’s twangy-yet-manly vocals. End Of Time, Bummer and Last Patrol hypnotise you, and take you to higher states of being. The acoustic Paradise harks back to the Magnet’s biggest hit, Dopes To Infinity, while the Donovan cover is churned with all the doom-like notes that the band can muster up. Besides the songs, what Last Patrol does exceedingly well is that it retains all the fuzzy, vintage sound that the band was known for.
The record sounds and feels natural, as if the band jumped in together in their practice pad and hammered out everything using just analogue recording devices. It includes every texture found in an oil painting where you can see the brushstrokes, and none of the flatlines of a digital painting, despite the fact that it might be pixel-perfect. Those with a penchant for experimentation, may not find anything new. The band largely sticks to its comfort zone, which isn’t such a bad thing.
Take it or leave it, you know what to expect from Monster Magnet. Last Patrol is a welcome addition to the discography, and a reminder of times when the future was bright, and lives weren’t that complicated. Like an old friend, or home-cooked food that you reach out to when you’re feeling blue,
Last Patrol should keep you company when you’re craving for something you know can’t go wrong.