If you disliked Spine Of God, you’ll hate 25 Tab.
The best part of this album is the cover art, easily the best use of their mascot. 25 Tab is definitely a step backward for Monster Magnet from their prior release, Spine Of God. Which kind of makes sense, since it was actually recorded first.
Another thing that’s obvious is why the initial release only saw the light of day in Germany. It’s really just plain bad. Not to mention ridiculously indulgent…oh, the indulgence. The original EP had three tracks, the first of which is 32 minutes and the second of which is 12.5 minutes. And none of them have any business being that long.
“Tab…25,” the crazy-ass long opener, is sound effects and guitar over the same rhythm for its entirety. It can be kind of interesting guitar if turned up loud enough, but it’s pretty much worthless. “Longhair,” the next long track, has its moments in, say, its first and last thirds, but definitely gets way too bogged down in the middle. Based on its abrupt transitions, it should have been broken up into multiple tracks, some of which might actually be good. The EP is rounded out by the four minutes or so of “Lord 13” which is basically just working out some ideas that would appear elsewhere in their discography (“Black Balloon,” “Blow It Off”): uptempo acoustic guitar strum that implies tension, but this one never pays off and instead just falls apart after a few minutes. Finally, this re-release has a horrible sounding live version of “Spine Of God” tacked on to the end.
25 Tab sounds awful and the songwriting is non-existent; it should have been relegated to an existence as experimental studio time or destroyed Not even for completists…I mean, have some compassion for the completists.
- Tab…25 – 32 minutes. Okay then. Sound is bad.
- Longhair – And then this is 12.5 minutes. Wow, some EP. Starts off okay, or at least better than the previous track, but gets pretty bogged down by six minutes in or so. The last 40 seconds are kinda cool, too. So I may just give this open just in the interest of keeping one thing open. Also has a good stretch starting at about 9:00. It’s mostly worthless, but I can’t get that worked up over it, and the next one ends up being more frustrating than anything, so open.
- Lord 13 – And this is mercifully only four minutes, though it’s awfully boring. This is one of those that vamps on the same chord (sometimes switching between a second chord) and the melody stays about the same, like it’s kind of building up tension. It would be better if it delivered on that tension, though. Instead it just goes into noodling about halfway through. Believe they used this effect to better result on later records.
- Spine Of God (Live) – back to 7.5 minutes and atrocious sound.