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Monster Magnet Announce Covers Album, Premiere First Single

  • Axl Rosenberg

Monster Magnet were supposed to hit the road for a tour celebrating 1998’s Powertrip starting on March 20, 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen. In an ideal world, that tour would have taken place earlier this year instead, but, obviously that didn’t happen, either.

Still, the band found a way to use the time productively and deliver unto their fans some new Monster Magnet goodness: they’ve announced the impending release of A Better Dystopia, “a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.”

It’s actually a fairly brilliant theme for a covers record: the bands covered on A Better Dystopia, like Hawkwind, Jerusalem, and The Pretty Things, aren’t necessarily household names; Black Sabbath have, literally, almost 6,000 times as many Spotify listeners a month as Table Scraps do, and The Macabre and JD Blackfoot aren’t even on Spotify. Monster Magnet may actually be introducing fans to great music they haven’t heard before, as opposed to just releasing the world’s gazillionth cover of an iconic song everybody already knows anyway.

Monster Magnet monstermind Dave Wyndorf explains how A Better Dystopia came to be:

“We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown. Monster Magnet loves the road. It’s a lifestyle. So, I considered our options. Rather than panhandle on the internet, hawking masks and Zoom-rocking practice sessions for dollars, I suggested we record a ‘bunker record.’ A total DIY affair (band only) recorded and mixed in Bob Pantella’s small but potent Freak Shop Studios/rehearsal space right here in New Jersey. But what to record? 

“I didn’t feel much like writing, but working on anything was better than watching the news as hospitals filled up, people died, and American politics went bat-shit crazy. The world roared ‘Dystopia! Apocalypse! Revolution!’. I’d heard those words before, and they brought to mind my childhood in the late 60’s/early 70’s… and the music… and short playlist of songs (just one of many) that I’d been carrying around with me on my whatever device to listen to before shows. Of course, these tunes have also been in my head for more or less my whole life. These were not the popular hits of the time. This was like a playlist from the 4th dimension… strange bits of musical obscurity, mostly dredged up from that inglorious and freaky ‘twilight zone’ time that preceded Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Reggae and Disco. A no-man’s land of hard rock that still had remnants of psychedelia and garage punk but had abandoned any notion of ‘flower power’ or frat house fun. And of course, they rocked.

“Yeah, these songs were it.”

You can check out the first single — a cover of Poo-Bah’s “Mr. Destroyer” — below. A Better Dystopia comes out May 21 on Napalm; pre-order it here. The complete track list is as follows:

  1. “The Diamond Mine” (originally by Dave Diamond)
  2. “Born to Go” (originally by Hawkwind)
  3. “Epitaph for a Head” (originally by JD Blackfoot)
  4. “Solid Gold Hell” (originally by The Scientists)
  5. “Be Forewarned” (originally by The Macabre)
  6. “Mr. Destroyer” (originally by Poo-Bah)
  7. “When the Wolf Sits” (originally by Jerusalem)
  8. “Death” (originally by The Pretty Things)
  9. “Situation” (originally by Josephus)
  10. “It’s Trash” (originally by The Cavemen)
  11. “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” (originally by Table Scraps)
  12. “Learning to Die” (originally by Dust)
  13. “Welcome to the Void” (originally by Morgen) – Bonus Track
Monster Magnet Announce Covers Album, Premiere First Single
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