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Superjudge

Monster Magnet

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Album Review

Having already shown that the world of drug-damaged early heavy metal-meets-space rock was well within their capability, Wyndorf and company took things to an even crazier level with Monster Magnet's major-label debut, Superjudge. Anyone taking anything on this album seriously, as some sort of satanic plot or anything like that, needs to just give up and go home — the song titles alone are crazily ridiculous enough: "Cyclops Revolution," "Elephant Bell," "Dinosaur Vacume," and the baldly but perfectly named "Stadium." A couple of nods to musical roots surface — the Willie Dixon-written classic "Evil (Is Going On)" kicks reasonable butt, but it's the storm through early Hawkwind standout "Brainstorm" that's the real signpost. There's more than a little of that British band throughout, only arguably even more strung out and insane, a celebration of a stoner culture that had persisted for years and looks set to always be around. Only the Dixon cover and "Black Balloon" stay at three minutes in length; everything else takes a little or a lot more time to satisfyingly sprawl, like the steady stomp of the title track or the monstrous "Cage Around the Sun." Wyndorf's ear for composition, production, and playing is evident throughout — everything is scaled for the biggest arena in the universe, while his voice positively compares with Ozzy Osbourne's early wailing, yet with a scraggly, rougher edge. Occasional acoustic guitar and sitar parts (with appropriate flanging) help in adding variety and more psychedelia to the proceedings, "Black Balloon" in particular ending Superjudge on a subtle, mysterious note. The spiraling riff explosions and solos of "Twin Earth" and "Dinosaur Vacume" are matched with strong rhythms (due credit to the team of Calandra and Kleiman, who never sound lazy), while any band with lyrics like "I cut off my own head/I don't need it where I'm going to go!" clearly knows how to get in touch with the unapologetic rawk fan out there.

Customer Reviews

Superjudge

The Red Bank, New Jersey based Monster Magnet released their second full-length studio album Superjudge in 1993, which contained the singles “Twin Earth” and “Face Down,” as well as the Willie Dixon cover song ‘Evil,’ and the Hawkwind cover song ‘Brianstorm.’

The album has historically been somewhat overlooked by a section of fans because it came between the cult classic debut Spine Of God and the fan-favourite third album Dopes To Infinity, whilst being praised and hailed by another section of their fans for the sound that resulted for just that reason.

Superjudge finds the band playing retro-sounding big, riffy rock/metal but it also finds them at arguably their most psychedelic. The album is full of phazers, flanges, Eastern scales and crazy lyrics. It has an overall trippy, freaked out attitude amidst the big riffs and hard rocking, despite protestations from frontman Dave Wyndorf that the album didn’t end up as effects-laden and progressive sounding as he’d initially planned.

Standout tracks include the six and a half minute ‘Dinosaur Vacume,’ as well as the album closer ‘Black Balloon’ which every Monster Magnet fan should enjoy, and of course the brilliant Eastern tinged album centerpiece ‘Cage The Sun.’

This was the first of many albums to feature Ed Mundell, who would go on to become a huge part of Monster Magnet for many years as well as well as helping found The Atomic Bitchwax. His contributions here help give the album a different flavour to the album and EPs which preceded it. It doesn’t just figuratively burst out of the speakers and capture your imagination, it could well take a few listens to worm its way under your skin as you absorb the clever lyrics, the neat little guitar touches and get to know the songs but if you like Monster Magnet or Stoner Rock/Metal in general then it is well worth persisting with.

Overall, Superjudge is a strong and underrated grower of an album that Monster Magnet fans should all check out, even if it isn’t as instant as Power Trip or considered as classic as Spine Of God or Dopes To Infinity by most fans.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Red Bank, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Retro-rock visionaries Monster Magnet spent much of the 1990s struggling against the prejudices imposed upon image and sound by alternative rock fashion nazis. In fact, it wasn't until that movement's late-'90s decline that the band's dogged persistence finally paid off, when their fourth album, Powertrip, catapulted to gold sales status on the strength of its massive hard rock hit, "Space Lord." In the meantime, Monster Magnet had managed to become one of the most successful and influential bands...
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