CD Review: Monster Magnet – Milking the Stars: a reimagining of Last Patrol

CD Review: Monster Magnet – Milking the Stars: a reimagining of Last Patrol
Napalm Records
All Access Rating: A-

Monster Magnet - Milking the Stars:
a reimagining of Last Patrol 2014
Dave Wyndorf must have his reasons, although a remake of Monster Magnet's space-rock epic Last Patrol, one of the best albums of 2013, seems completely unnecessary.

Then again, Wyndorf is a maverick, artistically unpredictable and full of sonic mischief. He doesn't have to explain himself to anybody. He just does the unexpected and then wonders why everyone makes such a big damn fuss about it.

Wyndorf did that with Last Patrol, summoning forgotten tones and archaic, alien sonic transmissions from resurrected vintage gear to create brilliant, tripped-out aural carnivals of cinematic, swirling, retro psychedelia traveling through the deepest recesses of the universe to entertain misanthropic, burned-out cosmic cowboys with cynical hearts and sinful natures. This, however, is an even riskier venture.

On Milking the Stars: a reimagining of Last Patrol, released by Napalm Records, Wyndorf takes a stab at redesigning these playgrounds, and the alterations – most of them of the "tripping balls" variety – are more than cosmetic. Take "Let The Circus Burn" and "Mindless Ones '68" for example, the latter a more hallucinogenic reinterpretation of Last Patrol's title track that burrows deep into a very warped subconscious, as only Hawkwind could. "Mindless Ones '68," on the other hand, nicks hypnotic organ sounds out of the very hands of The Doors' Ray Manzarek and seems to swirl weightlessly into the harrowing oblivion of a black hole, losing its moorings in an LSD-induced nightmare.

While the production of Last Patrol was scrubbed pretty clean, Milking the Stars is a wild and woolly ride,  "No Paradise for Me" sounding more corrosive and cosmic than the original "Paradise" and the driving "End of Time" coming in hot at a lower elevation, hitting the runway with compromised brakes, Evangelical fervor and strong gusts of B-3 organ. And while most of Milking the Stars is spent looking for a empathetic guide to help it through what is surely a terrifying acid trip, it contains a howling version of "Hallelujah" – titled "Hellelujah (Fuzz and Swamp)" – that is a bluesier, more organic stomp raised from the Mississippi Delta. Clearly, some deal between Wyndorf and the devil has transpired.

Next time, maybe he can tackle an even bigger job, like repainting the Sistene Chapel.
– Peter Lindblad

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