Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 4/4/2006
Spine of God (Re-Issue)
posted on 4/2006 By:
In 1992 I was a junior in high school and, cutting my teeth on the burgeoning crossover scene, had a huge love for the punk and metal being released at the time (no need to list the now classic releases that came out back then) but also shared a love for the seminal Black Sabbath. So you can imagine the ruckus that this release and Kyuss’s Blues For The Red Sun made that year amongst my fellow heshers and I. Monster Magnet came out of the gate playing a groove heavy form of Sabbath worship hard rock laden with all the excesses of 60’s and 70’s rock that punk fought so hard against: long bloated song structures, extended tangential jams and trippy space rock psychedelia. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard and I fucking loved it. Of course I didn’t know it at the time but this release and the aforementioned Kyuss album heralded the birth of the stoner rock genre that still holds steady to this day.
Of the two bands, Monster Magnet definitely played up the stoner vibe way more which is probably how the genre got its name. The songs here are riddled with big bong tokes in the background, numerous drug references and near constant swirling psychedelic keyboards and ambient noise effects that are sure to play with the mind of a baked high school kid sitting on the couch. Their penchant for going on long space rock tangents, something completely stripped out in their later more commercially successful releases, is in full form here. Like a drug addled Doors jam, Monster Magnet drifts for several minutes in a catatonic state of wah wah pedal fueled glory on songs like the closing opus “Ozium” and the title track “Spine Of God” which both top eight minutes. These kinds of jams would certainly annoy anyone who’s a fan of get to the point music but these guilty bits of completely self-indulgent music are wrapped in such a compelling haze of greasy guitars, undulating waves of background noise and Dave Wyndorf’s classic hard rock vocals that I’m still not tired of them almost fifteen years later.
For all the stony jams on this album there’s an equal number of shorter hard rock songs and sections which would become their main sound on later efforts. Although totally foreign sounding at the time anyone familiar with this genre would hear the seeds of it being planted here. Thick, severely distorted guitars pumped out through vintage tube amps with the sole aim of creating monster head nodding grooves. In this department, Spine Of God was only exceeded by their follow up Superjudge. Still, given the groundbreaking nature of the material here and their later foray into less space rock/jam centric songs, this album is absolutely essential for anyone even remotely into stoner rock. If you already own it no need to bother getting this one as the mix sounds identical and the only addition is a demo version of “Ozium” that’s interesting, as it’s pretty raw and sung in a bit higher octave, but it’s not required listening.
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