For Monster Magnet, a band whose sound has always been akin to something of an MC5 meets Black Sabbath through a Jim Morrison looking glass, “Last Patrol” is a semi-throwback to the stoner-psychedelica mined on landmarks like 1993’s “Superjudge” and 1995’s “Dopes to Infinity.” The band blew the roof off in true, grandiose rock god style with 1998’s gold-certified “Powertrip,” going forward with a more mainstream hard rock resolve, yet still always maintaining that sense of cosmic-flanged edginess not really seen since the golden age of ‘70s sci-fi rockers Hawkwind.
Monster Magnet sure feels at home on this, their ninth studio offering. Band mastermind Dave Wyndorf sounds as if he’s nestled back into his bizarrely murky songwriting archetype, with one foot in the acoustic/swamp haze found on “Dopes to Infinity” tracks like “Blow ‘Em Off” and the other in Stooges-inspired rebellion found in “Perish in Fire” from 2010’s “Mastermind.” Wyndorf’s found the perfect balance within his spacey, biker head-trip persona on new cuts like “End of Time” and “Strobe Light Beatdown” – two fuzzed-to-perfection rockers with the added pungency of Wyndorf’s slightly strained, cigarette-ravaged howl.
Elsewhere, there’s a certain restless, queasy feeling that something’s amiss within the blackened suggestiveness of “Stay Tuned” (“There’s a crazy moon been up all week, and it’s messin’ with the things that I think and do”). Likewise, the squelching riot act of “Mindless Ones” transcribes Wyndorf’s societal views into a nose-thumbing puncture wound – guitarist Garrett Sweeny’s wah-drenched leads contributing to the song’s sense of distress.
Embodying the leather-clad, rock ‘n’ roll street prophet mentality his music implies, Wyndorf takes the sum of his metal mysticism past and tapers it into an infectious new experiment of guitar-driven hallucination.