Monster Magnet - ‘Tab’ Re-Issue (Napalm Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Thursday, 07 September 2017 04:30

Monster Magnet - TabYesterday, I reviewed ‘Spine Of God’ and how brilliant I feel that record is. I first heard ‘Tab’ probably after ‘Superjudge’ (possibly my favorite MM record) had been released. My experience with Monster Magnet had begun with ‘Spine..’ first and then its follow up, before I learned that there had been an earlier recording. I purchased it back in the day and probably did not revisit it much, if at all, after a couple listens. I return to ‘Tab’ all these years later to listen to this remastered version and see if it connects with me now.


The 32-minute title track crawls out of the speaker in a mix of drone and psychedelic flavoring. Even with the remastering, it is hard to pick up all the nuances that are going on beneath the surface. I find myself agitated during the track as I feel like I am waiting for something for 15 minutes that is never arriving. It is entirely possible that this song would benefit from headphones, some mind altering substance and extensive time, but that is not something I am putting into this revisit, other than the headphones.


The shorter 12-minute long ‘25’ follows the title track and opens things up a little bit more. The album still sounds quiet, but this song rages with energy compared to ‘Tab.’ The sound is similar to what would happen if someone played an album they love at top volume to you over an old fashion telephone. There is a certain charm to it, but it eventually can become exhausting to me. After about eight minutes, the song enters a cool softer jam that then expands in scope. Depending on the length of a custom Monster Magnet playlist or mix CD, I might consider adding this one now.


The short ‘Longhair’ follows with a beginning that really reminds me of ‘Dopes to Infinity’-era Monster Magnet. I kept waiting for it to transition to ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead.’ This becomes another song that could now creep into a playlist or mix CD, especially since it is a compact four minutes. It is all the more remarkable to listen to these songs and then consider some of the catchy rock radio friendly songs that would come years later. ‘Lord 13’ returns to some of the drone with an early version of ‘Spine of God.’ If you read my other review, you know that the song ‘Spine of God’ is one of my favorite songs, regardless of artist. The drone here leaves it feeling neutered as I want to scream the chorus and utter the verses in a deranged state.


After revisiting this for the first time in 24 years or so, I quickly realize why it did not connect with me when I first heard it. I picked up new things now, but I prefer my Monster Magnet to be psychedelic and loud, not buried in a drone type muffle. It is likely I will return to ‘25’ and ‘Longhair’ now though, thanks to revisiting the album. I don’t see a world where the title track and I ever see eye to eye and that is okay.


Monster Magnet is an extremely special band and one I have enjoyed over the years. I look forward to their next studio album as I feel the band is still creating unique albums that deserve a larger audience.


‘Tab’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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