The Fierce and The Dead – Spooky Action

Spooky Action

(Bad Elephant)

WooooOOOOOoooOOoooo. It’s Hallowe’en and things are about to get even spookier here at Demon Pigeon. Be afraid, reader, for I bring you a tale of an album so frighteningly good that those of a nervous disposition would be wise to heed my warning and turn back now. Go look at some pictures of rudely-shaped pumpkins or something.

The Fierce and the Dead have risen again with their second full-length album. Loop guru, ‘Morbid’ Matt Stevens and his band of sinister henchmen have conjured up another slab of proggy, mathy instrumental rock that goes straight for the jugular. The opener, Part 4, with its twin-guitar arpeggios and headbang-worthy riff is what would’ve happened if Philip Glass had ripped up his Fulbright scholarship at the kitchen table and said “Screw you Mom, I’m gonna start a garage band”.

Lead-off single, Ark, is a Frankenstein’s monster of carefully stitched together sonic tapestry and bursts of extreme violence. That’s the signature of this band—lovely, almost pastoral vistas are opened up but you know the hockey-masked spree killer is never far away from turning the boy scout picnic into a bloodbath. Discordance and clever use of phasing time signatures add tension to the core melodies.

The accurately titled I Like It, I’m Into It showcases the bottom end of bassist Kevin ‘Fearsome’ Feazey which will terrify and delight in equal measure. Entropy sees him do his best Blacky impression with a circulating bassline that lays the foundation for some Voïvod homage complete with ‘piggy chords’ from Stevens and ‘Sinister’ Steve Cleaton. (I’m adhering to this Hallowe’en theme no matter how tenuous it may get).

Chief showcases the tight fills of drummer ‘Scary’ Stuart Marshall (shut up) with a swaying Latin jazz vibe before Hades itself opens its gaping maw and we get a glimpse of what the audition would have sounded like had Robert Fripp decided to try out for Sonic Youth.

It’s rare that an instrumental album is so full of melodic hooks, never taking its eye off the goal of entertaining the listener, even rarer for one to do so in juxtaposition with noise and academic compositional theory: advanced harmonic sense and polyrhythms. There’s nothing remotely scary about that though, you’ll be nodding along the whole way through with a lunatic grin on your face. Howling at the moon is optional.

Spooky Action is out November 4th 2013.

thefierceandthedead.bandcamp.com

Rolling Stone Top 500 Challenge III

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Yes, I’m still doing it. No, I still don’t know why.

Let’s crack on shall we?

The Rules: Try and listen to all the albums on the Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all time. No vetoes. I’m not even allowed to veto things on the grounds that they contain Ian Brown.

My Progress: 449-425

449 Big StarThird/Sister Lovers: Starting with an utterly baffling soup of jarring noise, my first instinct is to throw my generic mp3 player in the bin to make it stop; but then it morphs into power pop with a seriously 90s alt edge, except made in the 70s. You can tell that most of the bands I grew up with must have grown up with Big Star themselves, and that kind of makes me predisposed to them, I suppose. I bloody love this. Great start, maybe this leg of the challenge will be a breeze OH GOD THERE’S STING NEXT WHY

448 The Police Synchronicity: The prospect of this album nearly made me abandon the whole damn venture. Again. Sting. STING. Not only that, but Sting multiplied by the 80s, with keyboards squared. WHY IS IT SO HAPPY? SHUT UP STING. There are pan pipes. Why are there pan pipes? Thankfully, it only lasts for 11 Sting-ridden tracks, then wafts out the door like the quintessential bad smell. Good riddance.

447 Stan Getz & João GilbertoGetz/Gilberto: ‘Do the bossanova!’ No, I’m okay thanks. It turns out bossanova is basically laid-back jazz, with all the effortless cool removed by a Gitanes-smoking man in a polo neck, and replaced with chintz. It’s so laid back as to require embalming.

446 MC5Back in the USA: Alas, I was hoping for the firebrand political garage rock of Kick out the Jams, but instead this is the follow up to their debut; a collection of vaguely interesting garagey songs with most of the edges polished off. This is still a pretty damn good album though, and after the last few albums I’ve had to endure, I’ll take that.

445 Steve Miller BandFly Like An Eagle: Oh good, it’s a generic 70s blues rock album with vaguely psychedelic prog inflections (read keyboards and sitars), and I don’t want to kill myself at all by the third song in. There are some half decent songs on here but nothing that really stands up to his bluesy earlier material or which has the catchiness of The Joker.  A great big shrug.

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444 WarThe World is a Ghetto: Perfectly enjoyable funk with lots of other stuff thrown in for good measure. The first song is a bit nondescript, but after that the record opens up into a long funk groove and becomes pretty damn good. Finally, I think we’re getting somewhere.

443 Cheap TrickIn Color: More 70s rock, more pop than punk, but with enough of a snarl in there alongside the glam stomp to make it interesting. If I imagine I’m cruising a Californian desert highway in an old Camaro rather than sitting at a desk in the ashen skied north of England then it works considerably better. Also, I Want You To Want Me is a brilliant song. So there.

442 DevoQ: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!: This is tremendous fun; early new wave with bags more intelligence and humour than most of its contemporaries, and a great cover of Satisfaction thrown in  for good measure.

441 Suicide Suicide: Okay, we’re now in serious danger of hearing four good albums in a row here, none of which I’d heard before. Damn it, Rolling Stone I’m supposed to be mocking you, not agreeing with you. This is early electro/proto punk, and all I can say is if either electro or punk had carried on as brilliantly menacing and brooding as this then I might have paid more attention to them. Top stuff.

440 The PoguesRum, Sodomy & The Lash: Surely I don’t need to point out the brilliance of The Pogues to anyone intelligent and attractive enough to read Demon Pigeon? Utterly berserk drunken gypsy folk and lubricated poetry assaults from the world’s ugliest band. We’re now five for five, and I’m genuinely starting to warm to this list—which is wrong.

439 Sam CookeLive At The Harlem Square Club, 1963: I’m not normally a fan of live albums; they rarely capture the mood of the event and usually sound terrible to boot. This is no different, not least because Cooke’s cheesy on stage banter makes me want to die inside just a little bit (more). On the plus side, it proves just how damn good Sam Cooke’s voice was, which was pretty damn good indeed, and Bring it on Home to Me is absolutely incendiary. I’d still rather listen to the studio albums though.

438 The CureBoys Don’t Cry: Oh look, it’s the world’s cheeriest goth band! I’ve always felt The Cure get by with a mix that’s mostly charm and a bare handful of really good songs. Alas, this is more the former than the latter, but it passes the time nicely enough.

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437 Li’l WayneTha Carter III: For the duration of this album, I assume I’m stuck in some kind of Truman Show-style elaborate joke, where people get paid for saying the most misogynistic, derivative drivel is the greatest thing in history and I sit there for hours trying to work how anyone, let alone actual ‘journalists’, could possibly think that. This is just the stupidest bullshit.

436 BeckSea Change: Not my favourite Beck album by any stretch of the imagination; it’s all a bit laid back for my tastes. I’d rather have the scuzzy brilliance of Mellow Gold. After the atrocious Li’l Wayne album, however, this is like a soothing balm on a nasty sore, so that’ll do pig, that’ll do. Actually the further I get into this the better it is; it’s a peach of an album. Imagine changing your mind at my age.

435 NirvanaIn Utero: At last, an album that would have a good shot at making my own top ten. I could listen to this endlessly, unlike the now-dated and then-overplayed Nevermind. It was brilliant then, it’s brilliant now, and if you don’t agree you can go do a shut up. Thanks.

434 Big Star#1 Record: If I take nothing else out of this challenge, at least it’s introduced me to Big Star. I love this band, although I think I preferred Third to this, which seems a bit more straight ahead 70s pop rock with a lot of Beatles worship. Still very good though. Cheers Rolling Stone, I take back all the mean things I said. Although having said that, I’m still not sure this entirely makes up for that endless Merle Haggard album, or the Li’l Wayne album, for that matter.

433 George HarrisonAll Things Must Pass: I know that we’re all supposed to revere St George as the most hipster friendly of all the Beatles (not as ostentatiously obvious as Lennon, not as prone to ruining opening and closing ceremonies as Macca, not as Ringo as Ringo) but while this is a perfectly pleasant album full of perfectly pleasant songs, it’s hardly Rubber Soul is it?

432 Brian EnoHere Come the Warm Jets: There is no doubting the influential shadow Eno casts over modern music. There’s also no doubting that this is an unlistenable mess of pretentious bullshit. Either that or it’s fucking brilliant. I’m leaning firmly towards the former, but only because I think my ‘zaniness’ tolerance has by now expired.

431 PJ HarveyStories From The City, Stories From The Sea: What’s not to like? Great songs, great lyrics, great voice. PJ Harvey is great. In case you’re not already on the Harvey train, if the idea of twisted pop gloom and bleak storytelling lyrics sounds good to you then go listen. If it doesn’t, why the hell are you reading this website?

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twats

430 Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend: I’m trying to summon the words for how much I detest this jingle jangle indie haircut bullshit, but I’m failing. The musical equivalent of drinking a cup of coffee that was made with curdled milk and then left to go cold. At gunpoint. How the fuck this made it to a ‘best albums of ALL TIME’ list, I have no idea.

429 Brian EnoAnother Green World: Oh good, more Eno. Actually, this is even odder than the earlier one, and as a result, quite a lot more interesting. I can hear the groundwork of a lot of my music collection in this, from Mogwai to Neurosis. Top stuff.

428 The PoliceOutlandos D’Amour: Roooooooooooooooooooooooooooxanne! I think I’ve made my position on The Police quite clear, thank you very much. Fuck The Police.

427 Peter WolfSleepless: Time for some truck-driving, chain-smoking, beer-swilling, redneck country rock, except actually, it’s precisely 75% less fun than that sounds. What if Kid Rock had been around in the 70s? Listen to this, and you’d have the size of it—even though it was actually released in 2002. Randomly, Keith Jagger and Mick Richards show up and add precisely nothing to it. On the plus side, it’s quite short.

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426 Cheap TrickAt Budokan: As live albums go this is pretty good fun, although once again I fail to see the appeal of listening to a badly produced and imperfectly played version of a band’s output; although I’m immediately forced to eat humble pie because I must admit, this sounds great and the band are very tight. Meanwhile, I now have finally heard an album referenced on Wayne’s World. So that’s something. Also, I Want You To Want Me is still a great fucking song.

425 Gram ParsonsGrievous Angel: As I reach the end of another chunk of 25 albums in this, my completely pointless quest, I need to hear another country album like I need to have my hands superglued to my face. This is nowhere near as poisonous as most of the country music on this list so far, which is unsurprising given Parsons’ legacy with The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, but I’ve now been listening to albums from this list for two weeks straight, and what I really need now is something so ridiculously aggressive as to make my ears hurt and my neighbours tremble. Sorry, Gram.

So that brings us to the end of part three of my challenge. 75 down and only 425 albums to go. Jesus wept, that’s depressing.

I don’t know what we’ve learnt from this episode, other than that Big Star were a good band, I Want You To Want Me is a fucking great song, and this challenge really was an utterly silly idea. Anyone who wants to come to my house and kill me thoroughly to death when I gear up to start the next chapter is welcome to do so.

Cheers.

Why I hate the BBC (well, a section of it).

Note: This article was intended to be ‘having a go’ at the NME, purely as a way of driving traffic to this site. Yes, they’re awful and have a very poor attitude in general to metal (see their recent baiting of nu-metal). But you know what? Fuck the NME, there are far more worthy targets of my bile and poor wordsmithery. Also please note that the generic term ‘metal’ below is used to refer to all genres of metal/hardcore/death/experimental/post blah blah whatever, before anyone cries.

I don’t want to get all Daily Mail on you but I’m thinking of writing to my MP, MEP, parish councillor or even the Metro letters page. Outrage! Seriously though, I am annoyed. Well, maybe slightly miffed.

Something has always puzzled me. It’s regarding the musical output of the BBC, particularly on its visual platforms. Where is the metal?

There just isn’t any, at all. Saying that, there is very little live music on the BBC full stop. Joooools “Hootenanny” Holland occasionally has something interesting but it’s never metal (Lou Reed & Metallica and Alice in Chains don’t count sorry). The Trans-Atlantic Sessions were very good. I think they did some ‘Guitar Heroes‘ stuff that refers to 70s metal. There was, of course, the 90-minute retrospective Heavy Metal Britannia, although that was a firmly backwards-looking affair. And, um, that’s about it.

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If you take any particular sub-genre within metal, the best thing about it is seeing it live, played by people who love what they do and make very little money doing it. Because of this, there is a credibility to metal that other music simply lacks. Strip back any reference to contemporary metal, and you’ve got yourself a lovely BBC4 show synopsis. So why Mr. BBC, do we not have any shows dedicated to it?

Let’s have a look at the excuses:

Would it really upset middle England? Well no, seeing as the vast majority of ‘metalheads’ are well to do middle Englanders themselves. No way! Shyeah right! Etc. Yes, it pains me to say but I am delightfully middle-class, as are most of my friends who like metal. Those kids with the scary clothes and piercings going through their respective ‘phases’, yup, all middle-class too. So we can mark that excuse off the list.

Would there be an audience for it? Well I’m sure there are as many fans of metal as there are of classical music and we get no end of flag-waving Proms (which always comes across a bit racist/UKIPpy to me). We get coverage of Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds that feature plenty of artists that in terms of popularity/sales (let’s be brutal about this) would be on par or lesser, than established metal acts. I don’t know how many viewers the abysmal Kerrang! channel or any other harder-edged music channels get, but the fact they exist, and have done for quite some time, would suggest that, yes, there is an audience for it.

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Would it suit the ethos of BBC4? The output of BBC4 seems to be directed at the more discerning/intelligent viewer, hence the reams of documentaries and focus on the arts. Yes a lot of metal is stupid but are the likes of Cult Of Luna not worthy of artistic recognition? Here you could insert any band on Neurot, any band from Umeå, technical death/black metal, hardcore (the good stuff, obviously). Pick your favourite band. Them. Do they not fit the bill? I’m not expecting hours dedicated to Slipknot (and I don’t think anyone wants that) but if we can dedicate several hours to the Proms, then why not?

I have snipped this from the BBC Trust section of the BBC website:

The BBC exists to serve the public, and its mission is to inform, educate and entertain. The BBC Trust is the governing body of the BBC, and we make sure the BBC delivers that mission…

…Our job is to get the best out of the BBC for license fee payers.

We set the strategic objectives for the BBC.  We have challenged the BBC to:

  • increase the distinctiveness and quality of output;

  • – improve the value for money provided to license fee payers;

  • – set new standards of openness and transparency; and

  • do more to serve all audiences.

I have emboldended two parts of this ‘mission statement’, which I believe the BBC is failing us on.

Distinctiveness is very hard to achieve in any endeavour, what with everyone lapping up the same tripe day-to-day, mouths open to the damnable media corporations and bloody loving it. Oh please Mr. Cowell, tell me more about that show you do and how you get a nice annual bonus from rigging the race for Christmas number one! Can I see another elite chef cook something I won’t ever attempt to make? Can you shovel more shows about wealthy retirees buying millions of pounds worth of second homes into my gaping face? Please?

Shouldn’t we expect better from the BBC in regards to even acknowledging that we as fans of metal exist? Is there anything on any of the other mainstream channels that is like this? No. So it’s not difficult to decipher where I am going with this: Metal is distinctive. Take that BBC!

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Secondly, I pay my license fee religiously, as do most adult metal fans (what with us all being painfully middle class) and so that last statement, ie ‘do more to serve all audiences’, leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I (mostly) love the news output and I am reliably informed that the Kids TV isn’t too bad either (alright I do watch some of it ‘cos it’s like totally trippy, man’). I love, actually love, the documentaries on whatever creature/tribe/crisis is flavor of the month (well done BBC). But are the BBC serving fans of metal?

Even non-fans, intellectuals or random channel hoppers could find something to enjoy from output dedicated to metal. Even if that response is vehement dislike, that is a valid response. Art, whatever it is, is meant to evoke some sort of emotional response, not set the cash registers off. So serve me, you bastards!

How difficult would it be to get an agreement to broadcast from a venue in London or Manchester? When a band is on tour, you get them to come in, play some songs, talk to them? That almost sounds too easy. Or perhaps have cameras at a metal festival? Wouldn’t even cost them that much money to make a large section of the public happy and acknowledged. They could even do it on the radio, like they do for other music, and for a tidy extra saving (cross off the value part off the mission statement).

Or how about showing some of the great metal documentaries that are already out there, made by tiny independents struggling to get by, wouldn’t it be good to support this area? Such Hawks, Such Hounds, Blood, Sweat and Vinyl and the Metal Evolution series would be a great fit on the Friday night music doc slots on BBC4.

So, BBC, I challenge you to do something about this. Reward our faith in public service broadcasting. Sack Will.I.Am and force Jooooooools to host a night of pornogrind. Not that this article will ever pass through the black-rimmed lenses of a BBC executive, so I’ll just be left seething in my room, cry-wanking myself to sleep while they’re all busy turning a blind eye to systemic child abuse.

Earthless – From the Ages

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(TeePee Records)

Like losing control and wiping out while sledging down a reeking mountain of sticky bud on the back of an exploding Marshall stack. No, autocorrect, I did not mean ‘sledding’.

The proposition: One hour of instrumental hard rock jams, stuffed to groaning with ‘searing’ riffs and ‘ripping’ solos, and underpinned by rock-solid, dependable—if slightly unremarkable—rhythm work. You know whether this is for you or not.

In my opinion, it’s fucking mega.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Earthless/117307888322324

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature

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(Southern Lord)

‘Supergroup’ thingies usually end up so far short of the supposed sum of their parts, don’t they? It’s almost as if one of the key things about bands is their internal dynamic, or something else we could ruminate on for hours and hours. We’re not going to do that though, because it’s pretty boring. I’ll say this one thing though—I’ve yet to hear Ben Koller play drums in a shit band, and he’s been in a LOT of them.

All Pigs Must Die aren’t an exception either, in case you thought I was being smart and setting up one of those ‘news sandwich’ things so beloved of middle-management types. Their last record God Is War was bloody great, so was their self-titled EP, and by all accounts they ‘bring it’ live too.

Now, Nothing Violates This Nature has been out a little while at this point so hopefully, dear reader, you’ll already have thrown some shiny pennies at Greg ‘Greg’ Anderson for a copy of this record and you’re probably onto the very latest new and brilliant thing, but some of us take a bit of time over these ‘review’ things so bear with me…

Like God Is War, this is also marvellous. It’s 33 minutes long, full of what I suppose you might call ‘faceripping riffs’ and ‘full-on bangers’ if you were a wally prone to insane hyperbole, wrapped in some lovely artwork, and buying it will instantly make your record collection 1.45% cooler (2.18% on vinyl). What it doesn’t do is anything particularly new, but I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that if you write good songs and deliver them properly (in this case really, REALLY violently) then ‘pushing through genre boundaries’ and all that other sort of music critic guff is irrelevant. It’s got short fast songs, longer slower songs, and a couple that kind of mix it up a bit, it’s sequenced really well so you don’t get bored, and it’s well worth spending your actual money on.

So yeah, go buy it. Cheers.

www.facebook.com/apmdband

On Rap Music: B. Dolan

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We don’t judge all heavy metal by the antics of Metallica (well, not all of us, at least). Therefore it follows we shouldn’t judge all hip hop by 50 Cent et al. Why not allow me to play the role of Lou Koller, as Demon Pigeon scratches the surface of this often misrepresented genre and its attendant culture, to see what’s crawling around in the independent hip hop scene?

(NB: I once saw Lou Koller dislocate his shoulder halfway through a gig and just carry on as if nothing had happened. After the gig I noticed that someone had been sick on my leg. Draw your own conclusions.)

Hip hop is political, relevant, inspiring, fiercely DIY and punk as fucking fuck. Today we shall explore the significant body of work, and the body, of Providence, Rhode Island rapper and activist B. Dolan.

Film The Police

Let’s take an easy route in. I’m sure we’re all familiar with NWA; particularly their love letter to the boys in blue, Cannon and Ball.

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Hip hop is so self-referential at times it feels like Oroborous in a shell suit. Also, I learned about Oroborous from a rap song, so hip hop is educational too, kids! Rap songs are typically filled with references to other rap songs, and occasionally someone will even re-work an entire song, which is what B. Dolan and friends have done here, updating a rap standard to be politically and culturally relevant to contemporary times. This song came out when the Occupy movement was at its height and takes the raw anger of the original and updates it to create the perfect post-millennial protest anthem.

Key lines:

They’d rather see me in a cell /Than me and my cell with a different story to tell. /Camcorder by the dash. Next time you get stopped, /Reach for the celly if you wanna shoot a cop.

We’ve gotta’ exercise our right to shed light in the dark. /There is an army on the march that doesn’t want you to watch. /You’ve got a weapon in your pocket whether you know it or not. /We, the people, are the only real media we got.

Good stuff, innit?

RSVP

Hang on, is this a rap song about the 1984 Bhopal disaster where a chemical plant leaked 32 tons of toxic gases with an estimated death toll of 20,000 bystanders?! Is B. Dolan reading out the addresses of Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide who was responsible for the disaster but fled India without ever standing trial?!! Does that make this the most punk rock rap song of all time? I think it unequivocally does.

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Key lines:

40 tons of lethal gas leak from a factory in Bhopal /Safety catches turned off by the company boss /More than 20,000 dead and negligence was the cause /and 100,000 more were injured and stillborn /and the rat fuck to blame for it all /ain’t never had a day in court.

Supposed to be in hiding but thanks to the DMV /the location of his snake den is still public information /got with any car registration /so you ain’t hard to reach… /Run and tell the State Department: “No justice no peace!” /For the Butcher of Bhopal and all killer companies /R.S.V.P.

Which Side Are you On?

Dolan pins his colours to the mast in this one and asks you to do the same. The second verse directly addresses homophobia in hip hop. I really wish someone would do that in metal. The video contains footage of demonstrations in support of CeCe Mcdonald, a woman who survived a brutal racist and homophobic attack and was then charged with manslaughter.

Key Lines:

Who wrote the greatest lines of our generation, /but couldn’t get from under their own small-minded hate trip? /The same rappers say they’re trooping the frontlines, /and casually use the word ‘faggot’ as a punchline. /That’s not a man, that’s not a tough guy. /That is a sucker and a fraud to the culture.

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If those three songs weren’t enough to convince you that hip hop’s got more going on than jewels and ladies, B. Dolan also runs the website knowmore.org, shining a light into the shady dealings of corporations, and he’s currently on tour with Circle Takes The Square. So you know, punk rock.

Oh and what’s this? It appears to be a version of B. Dolan’s excellent Fallen House, Sunken City album entirely remixed using sludge and stoner samples.

All of B. Dolan’s material is released by the magnificent DIY hip hop label Strange Famous Records so head over to their site  or their bandcamp  and throw this week’s food money at them.

bdolan.net

Monster Magnet – The Last Patrol

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(Napalm Records)

I love Monster Magnet, even though they haven’t released an actual really good record in about 15 years. The last Monster Magnet album I looked forward to was called Mastermind. They said it was a return to form, but obviously it wasn’t. Not Spine of God-type form, at least. Before that, both Monolithic Baby and 4 Way Diablo were also supposed to be returns to form. That this band still haven’t regained their ‘form’ after 2001’s God Says No suggests that perhaps by now, they never will.

Likewise, The Last Patrol. Once again, I bought the PR line. This time Wyndorf & Co. were fully retrenching to the crunchy acid-inflected space rock of their first four or five records; and this time, they were taking with them what they’d learned from 15 years of producing more ‘accessible’ arena rock during their global mid-tier stardom phase of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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Preview streams seemed promising. They sounded quite like Monster Magnet, which I’m sure you’ll agree, is an excellent place to start. Accompanying articles breathlessly exposited the mental and musical processes behind the record’s genesis; this was going to take us all back to the halcyon days of the early 1990s, when stone rock was fresh, and nobody had ripped off Hawkwind yet, said the bloggers and hacks. Many glossed over the recent departure of Ed Mundell from the band. Nevertheless, from these meagre materials, I managed to kindle in my heart a tiny flame of optimism, and waited patiently until the day I could translocate a copy of the recording into my own sticky, lint-covered palms.

Fuck sake.

Of course, it’s not bad. It just is. Most of it sounds like a half-tone photocopy of Dopes To Infinity, which isn’t… you know, bad. It’s just I can’t tell what’s supposed to be so good, nor do I have the energy to flip out and embark on a histrionic rant about it. Somehow, that would just seem gauche.

All that’s left to do with The Last Patrol is try and figure out what’s missing. Ah yes. That would be it—Ed Mundell.

So in conclusion, this record is perfectly acceptable. And that isn’t good enough. If you want to recapture the swagger and verve of Monster Magnet’s early material, my advice is to just go and listen to it, because The Last Patrol adds nothing particularly fresh to the template.

No jokes.