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Dopes to Infinity

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Album Review

Expecting Monster Magnet to change from art-sludge-psych monsters into sweet cuddlebunnies from album to album clearly demonstrates a loss of reason. Wyndorf himself doesn't need to worry about losing his reason in particular, given how psychotically entertaining his band already is, and Dopes to Infinity is about as far apart from Superjudge as the original Siamese twins were to each other. Maybe "Dopeheads to Infinity" would have been the better title, but as the title track fires up into another rampage of excessively flanged guitar, storming lead riff, and steady drum stomp, all criticisms get left behind along with any sort of sanity. Wyndorf's singing is a touch crisper in the mix this time out, while the guitar playing is even more powerfully direct and epic amidst all the space-out swirl and rockets to the moon. It's the secret weapon of the album as a whole, turning Monster Magnet's gift for the large scale into something that's almost uplifting, often connecting with a listener instead of dominating one. That Mellotron ("Look to the Orb for the Warning") and strings (the acoustic guitar-led "Blow 'Em Off") are evident along with the sitars, folky strums, and similar acid quease of past albums only makes sense as a result. Then again, songs like "Ego, the Living Planet" and "Theme From 'Masterburner'" do a great job at sounding like Thor battling Galacticus for control of the universe — no puny humans allowed. Lead single "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" became a minor hit, all the more surprising given how the band's idea of a commercial single features more processed guitar backing Wyndorf on the verses than the law normally allows. The catchy chug and scream of the chorus helps nail it, though, showing that Wyndorf can find the balance between his extreme and less-so sides when desired.


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 and 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 associated...
Full Bio