What sucks most about this album is that it’s so much like their later, excellent albums. It’s made up of heavy, fuzzed-out guitars and mythical space drug lyrics, but instead it comes off as a caricature of stoner rock. It’s kind of the reverse of GVSB where all the same stuff was present as later albums, but this time it’s the later stuff that’s superior.
The main problem is that they forgot to write good hooks. It’s like they had an idea about how to update Hawkwind for the 90’s, and so they modernized Hawkwind’s sound, but neglected to do so with music anybody would want to listen to.
There are other major sins, too. There’s the ridiculous, sophomoric worship of marijuana in the lyrics and the lighter and bong sound effects that make it sound like Spinal Tap does stoner metal. It sounds awful. And they’ve got a number of epic tracks that are there only because 70’s-style stoner rock has to have some song lengths around eight minutes or more, not because the songs warrant that kind of repetition.
The best thing I can say about this album is that “Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother” would be quite good if the sound quality weren’t awful.
Monster Magnet would end up being a progenitor of stoner metal and write some excellent albums. But this early release contains only the faintest hint of what’s to come. If this had been the first thing of theirs I’d heard, I don’t know if I would have given them another chance. It’s awful.
- Pill Shovel – I think “I stand on the mountains of Mars/Sparkin’ up” sounds like a much more awesome lyric than it actually is.
- Medicine – This might be the best on the disc.
- Nod Scene – god those pot smoking sounds are ridiculous. Okay, the lyrics about buying another copy of Zoso because seeds were busting up the spine, that’s pretty cool.
- Black Mastermind – Another one I’d like if it didn’t sound so bad. There’s some cool riffs and ideas here. But that’s all laid out in the first two or three minutes. This has no business being over eight minutes.
- Zodiac Lung –
- Spine Of God – eight minutes. oy. Enough good parts to stay open-hearted, but it’s almost broken. There’s that part that kicks in about 2:15 or 2:20 that’s cool. Is it enough to keep this open? Yeah, it goes cool for at least 40 seconds or so. Ending with the “bug in your eye” line. God this gets bad at the end. No, I have to break this.
- Snake Dance – “I’m so fucking stoned.” “If Satan lived in Heaven, he’d be me.”
- Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother – Oh the start of this is very promising. And as I look down and see it’s about 3:30 I’m heartened. Either this or track two is the best on the disc.
- Ozium – “The faster you gyrate, the faster we’ll be there” Is this like a Barbarella kind of thing?
- Ozium (Demo Version) – sound is awful. why would you include this?