Monster Magnet have released a fourth track-by-track video for their upcoming new album, A Better Dystopia, out May 21 via Napalm Records. Watch four segments below:
A Better Dystopia is a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.
While the album marks a new frontier for Monster Magnet as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. A Better Dystopia sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now – and then.
Dave Wyndorf says about the birth of A Better Dystopia: “We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown. Monster Magnet loves the road. It’s a lifestyle. So, I considered our options. Rather than panhandle on the internet, hawking masks and Zoom-rocking practice sessions for dollars, I suggested we record a “bunker record”. A total DIY affair (band only) recorded and mixed in Bob Pantella’s small but potent Freak Shop Studios/rehearsal space right here in New Jersey. But what to record?
I didn’t feel much like writing, but working on anything was better than watching the news as hospitals filled up, people died, and American politics went bat-shit crazy. The world roared “Dystopia! Apocalypse! Revolution!”. I’d heard those words before, and they brought to mind my childhood in the late 60’s/early 70’s… and the music… and short playlist of songs (just one of many) that I’d been carrying around with me on my whatever device to listen to before shows. Of course, these tunes have also been in my head for more or less my whole life. These were not the popular hits of the time. This was like a playlist from the 4th dimension… strange bits of musical obscurity, mostly dredged up from that inglorious and freaky “twilight zone” time that preceded Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Reggae and Disco. A no-man’s land of hard rock that still had remnants of psychedelia and garage punk but had abandoned any notion of “flower power” or frat house fun. And of course, they rocked. Yeah, these songs were it.”
Wyndorf is at the top of his game on A Better Dystopia, delivering each lyric in his own inimitable style, and musicians Phil Caivano, Bob Pantella, Garrett Sweeney and Alec Morton own the sound – vintage and old school, dense and heavy, with searing fuzz leads and pounding bass and drums all played in a deft style that’s almost been lost in modern music. The album opens with “The Diamond Mine”, as Dave Wyndorf recites a classic monologue by Dave Diamond, an American radio DJ whose programs in the late 60’s and early 70’s helped popularize many psychedelic and acid rock bands. At this point the real trip begins, as the opening chords of the Hawkwind classic “Born To Go” gear up for launch. Tracks like standout “Mr. Destroyer” (Poo-Bah) spur visions of some untold Freak revolution – or perhaps dinosaurs battling on a burning planet at the end of time – creating a perfect blend of hard rock and psychedelia. Feverish “Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)” (Table Scraps) is pure punk fury of the old school tradition, evoking a cross between Iggy Pop and Motörhead as Wyndorf wails “I’m gonna drive it straight to HELL!” Falling even further down the mind-bending rabbit hole, Magnet offers their stunning, whirlwind take on the often-overlooked hard rock classic “Learning To Die” (Dust) and a masterful version the Stooges meets Goth epic, “Solid Gold Hell” (The Scientists). The album closes with a bonus nuclear cover of Morgen’s “Welcome To The Void”, inviting you to restart the ride again and again.
Wyndorf concludes: “The great bands whose music we lovingly interpret here were (and some still are) on the fringe, underrated, and in our opinion, really, really cool. I think that’s reason enough for us to do this album. Furthermore, A Better Dystopia is a collection of songs that I think reflect (knowingly or unknowingly) a paranoid time in history, but also deflect that same paranoia by owning it, fully. And of course, it ROCKS.”
A Better Dystopia will be available in North America in the following formats:
– 4 page CD Digipack
– 4 page CD Digipack + Patch (Napalm mailorder only)
– 2LP Gatefold Black
– 2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 300)
– 2LP Gatefold Glow In The Dark (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Limited Die Hard Edition: 2LP Gatefold Neon Green/Black Splatter + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Digital Album
A Better Dystopia tracklisting:
“The Diamond Mine”
“Born To Go”
“Epitaph For A Head”
“Solid Gold Hell”
“When The Wolf Sits”
“Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)”
“Learning To Die”
“Welcome To The Void” (Bonus Track)
“Learning To Die” lyric video:
“Mr. Destroyer” lyric video:
Monster Magnet is:
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Caivano – Guitar
Garret Sweeny – Guitar
Alec Morton – Bass
Bob Pantella – Drums
(Photo Credit: Gonzales Photo/Per-Otto Oppi/Alamy Live News)