Having taken some time out from touring their classic albums, it’s good to have Monster Magnet back with what seems to be a brand new classic album. ‘Last Patrol’ sees Dave Wyndorf and his classic space rockers going back towards their early sound. It’s not a reprise of ‘Dopes to Infinity’ though, it still retains the inventiveness we’ve become accustomed to from this band.
The opening brace consisting of ‘I live behind the Clouds’ and ‘Last Patrol’ sets the tone. It’s a dreamy start to an album that never fully lets its hair down. The album was written in just a week by Dave, it’s a snapshot of his moods during those days and by the sounds of it he was up in the clouds and pretty chilled.
‘Mindless Ones’ is the only real track to threaten to break free of the laid back vibes of this release, but even this one struggles to get in to fifth gear. The album has an almost acoustic feel to it. There’s no urgency and certainly no sign of a ‘Tractor’ type song. The overriding feeling is simply just of cool, Monster Magnet still reek of cool.
Not to play down anyone’s part in ‘Last Patrol’ but it is an album that has an almost Wyndorf solo effort feel to it. Dave is and always has been the main force behind Monster Magnet but the laid back and less instant appeal to ‘Last Patrol’ sees him taking the lead on most tracks. The lack of a real all-out rocker on the album means it’s a very vocal orientated but the almost minimalistic (at times) soundtrack plays an important part in enhancing this too.
‘Last Patrol’ cannot really be compared to any other Monster Magnet album from the catalogue. There’s a familiar psychedelic space rock theme running through it as in their earlier material but with a distinct lack of the walls of feedback and drug fuelled confusion from those days. Similarly there are elements of the more hard rock Monster Magnet of late but the departure of Ed Mundell has left a noticeable lack of burley hook filled riffs.
Whether Mundell is missed or not is another question as the resulting trip that is ‘Last Patrol’ is a pretty cool ride. It’s something a little bit different and fresh which works pretty damn fine at the moment.