"4-Way Diablo"


01. 4 Way Diablo
02. Wall Of Fire
03. You're Alive
04. Blow Your Mind
05. Cyclone
06. 2000 Light Years From Home
07. No Vacation
08. I'm Calling You
09. Solid Gold
10. Freeze And Pixelate
11. A Thousand Stars
12. Slap In The Face
13. Little Bag Of Gloom

RATING: 7/10

The seventh studio album from New Jersey psych-stoner-rockers MONSTER MAGNET begins on a reflective note. The title track kicks off with a lightly strummed chord, while the song itself sounds thoughtful and — for this band — mellow, perhaps indicative of the frame of mind of founder, frontman and songwriter Dave Wyndorf. Famous for living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle to the fullest, Wyndorf had a close brush with death in 2006 when he overdosed on prescription drugs. As a result, he sounds subdued on "4-Way Diablo", which takes its cues less from metallic records like "Dopes to Infinity" and the classic "Powertrip", and more from the band's garage/psychedelic roots.

That's not to say Wyndorf is sitting in a corner strumming a sitar the whole time. "Wall of Fire" and "You're Alive" rock out in fiery MAGNET style, even if the songs are a little more simplistic than in the past. The band never quite builds up that head of steam again until much later in the record, with the watery verses of "Slap In The Face" giving way to a massive, "Powertrip"-style riff in the chorus.

The album's middle section gets downright meditative, a dream-like cover of THE ROLLING STONES' "2000 Lightyears From Home" anchoring a moody, trippy suite of songs that includes the weird "No Vacation", the somber "I'm Calling You" and the positively pop-like "Solid Gold", possibly the most mainstream song Wyndorf has ever written despite the explosive guitar pyrotechnics at the end. Each of these songs has its share of interesting sounds (strings and keyboards on "I'm Calling You", for example) but some of them also sound like variations on themes that Wyndorf has explored before.

"Freeze and Pixilate" is an all-out Middle Eastern opium-smoking instrumental that leads gently into the nighttime-in-the-desert vibe of "A Thousand Stars". The aforementioned "Slap" blasts off with one last burst of raw power before the album ends with the sparse, confessional "Little Bag of Gloom". Despite the up-and-down, more laid-back nature of the material, most of the songs are buttressed by layers of guitars and even the most personal tunes here still reflect the basic MONSTER MAGNET style.

If Wyndorf has been humbled by his near-death experience and is addressing life in more restrained terms on "4-Way Diablo", then so be it. A mix of MAGNET styles old and new, it still bears the unmistakable stamp of one of stoner rock’s most identifiable and unique voices, even if that voice is a little older, wiser and sadder.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).