“Spine Of God” (remaster) by Monster Magnet

Artist: Monster Magnet
Title: “Spine Of God” (remaster)
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 4/4/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Stoner
Rating: 3/5

A remastered re-release of Monster Magnets 2nd disk (but first full-length album) comes to life thanks to the folks at SPV Records. I have to admit that I like this sludgy, brutal, trippy brand of Stoner Rock. Why? Well I am not sure but maybe because this record has attitude with a bit of unpredictability and raunchy guitars. Spine Of God does not have the higher production values that would eventually be found on God Says No but that are par for the course on earlier work. GSN also includes a harder rocking second version of the track “Medicine” and the stellar track “Melt” (which mentions artist and supreme comic talent Jack Kirby in its lyrics). It’s my hope that SPV gets around to remastering this one as it is some of Magnet’s best work in my humble opinion.

Spine Of God is filled with drug referenced lyrics, trippy delay and wahwah. For a 1992 release it really pulled in a strong 70’s vibe and makes the band come across like some kind of trippy Black Sabbath. The minimalist guitar solos are not very technical or involve much in the way of shredding but they have vibe. Some might feel this is a little plodding or repetitive but I still enjoyed it. This was probably because Dave Windorf has a raw vocal quality and lower register voice that can kick out a raspy primal scream along with a smooth evil vocal. I also find his twisted stoner lyrics amusing. Some tracks I dig are “Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother” even though the guitars are a bit ratty sounding; it has that simple riff power going for it. “Snake Dance” is a song that could induce a speeding ticket if you’re not careful and made me come away saying how Spine Of God had some pretty solid songs. I didn’t care much for “Zodiac Lung” and felt it was more of a lame throw away track but overall for Magnet’s first full length release this was not a bad one and it truly showed the bands potential. The remaster includes a bonus track of “Ozium” in demo form and I felt they could have expanded on this a little by giving the listener more than one track. Still a good release to investigate.

Track Listing:
1. Pill Shovel
2. Medicine
3. Nod Scene
4. Black Mastermind
5. Zodiac Lung
6. Spine Of God
7. Snake Dance
8. Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
9. Ozium
10. Ozium – demo

Official Website: www.monstermagnet.net

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