Release Date: 18th October 2013
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
"'Last Patrol' is a return to our roots in terms of vibe and recording style. It's full-on psychedelic space-rock with a 60s garage feel, recorded almost exclusively with vintage guitars, amps and effects in our hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey.
"The songs are a kind of Space-Noir, tales of cosmic revenge, peaking libidos, alienation and epic strangeness. It's a weird trip through the back alleys of a dark, retro-future, which not by coincidence very much resembles my own life."
These are the words of main man and vocalist Dave Wyndorf when trying to convey what this album is all about. To me this sounds like business as usual then.
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When the cosmic needle bounces in and out of the tiny grooves on this record, you get the sense that the 'Magnet have rediscovered their mojo. 'Last Patrol' is really good stuff man.
The building tensions with each of the nine tracks that are available for review here work their voodoo magic through earphones plugged deep within the ears. Whether it is the epic quality of the title track or the cover version of 'Three Kingfishers' originally penned and recorded by Donovan, there is an odour of something other-worldly. Sounds that change to every colour of the rainbow with what Rolling Stone magazine describe as; "A decadent psych-rock whirlpool."
'Mindless Ones' swaggers across the psychedelic dance-floor to a groove and tempo that screams out satisfaction, whilst the opening dimension-bending song 'I Live Behind The Clouds' floats on intergalactic fumes before ripping off its clothes and revealing a naked passion for all to witness. Exposure of this nature is messy and isn't for those with a weak heart.
Dealing with these musical horizons is one thing, but lyrically you're in for an abstract ride! "The lyrics aren't fantasy really, rather a recounting of my musings on, observations of and general emotional reaction to my life and environment during a one week writing period in February of 2013. But I tend to use the vernacular and imagery of science fiction and surrealism to express myself and that's where these lyrics get trippy," explains the ever-articulate Wyndorf.
'Paradise' teases with some sonic foreplay but never reaching the climax you expect from it, when suddenly we find our ears being attracted to 'Hallelujah' which reveals its claws about 55 seconds after it starts. Welcome to the church of the 'Magnet and their realms of the irresistible.
There is urgency as 'End Of Time' comes straight out of the cage like a wild and hirsute space traveller. It doesn't even feel like the song is around eight minutes in length as it maintains the tempo throughout. Each time you think you can predict which way a song will go, it tricks you.
This album closes with 'Stay Tuned' looking out across the Moon's surface strumming on an acoustic guitar. Not so much calling Major Wyndorf, but calling all the naysayers who thought the 'Magnet were history.
One thing is for sure, I have learned a valuable lesson today. Just when you think that 'Dopes To Infinity' is going to be their piece de resistance they come along nearly 20 years later and deliver a very fine studio album indeed.
Now then, where did I put my space suit?
1. I Live Behind The Clouds
2. Last Patrol
3. Three Kingfishers
6. Mindless Ones
7. The Duke (Of Supernature)
8. End Of Time
9. Stay Tuned
Dave Wyndorf (Vocals)
Ed Mundell (Guitar)
Phil Caivano (Guitar)
Jim Baglino (Bass)
Bob Pantella (Drums)