Monster Magnet – ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’

Negasonic Teenage Warhead was the first single from stoner rock pioneers Monster Magnet’s third (and best) album, Dopes to Infinity. Released in 1995, it’s a hard rock, psychedelic diatribe against certain of their contemporaries’ reluctance to be in the limelight and eagerness to spread their depression to their audience. It’s also a quality tune.

It’s a mystery to me why Monster Magnet never became huge in the ’90s. At that time they churned out so many great, supernatural-tinged songs that not only rocked but were funny and clever at the same time. Dopes To Infinity seriously doesn’t have a weak track on it, and the albums before and after it were pretty good too. Obviously they fell just the wrong side of fashion at the time with their retro leanings, despite their awesome guitar sound. Or maybe main man Dave Wyndorf’s moustache was the problem.

An article in Melody Maker in the early-’90s said that they were ‘heavy’, ‘psychedelic’ and ‘would kill to be on Sub Pop’, which sounded interesting, if needlessly bitchy in that way that British music journalists liked to be. A couple of years later a friend of mine had a Monster Magnet sticker on his stereo that said ‘Swings like God’s own dick’, which I thought was pretty funny. So I took a chance and bought Dopes To Infinity back in the days when I had next to no money and had to try and make every album purchase worthwhile. Believe me, there were a lot of purchases that I regretted and took a 50% hit on when they went back to the second-hand record store, but this was not one.

Monster Magnet continue to this day, with Wyndorf the only original member. Apparently he’s given up psychedelics now, which makes me strangely sad for some reason, but the good news is he has better dreams than ever as a result. Despite writing a million killer riffs, his band never got the major success that less talented groups did. They were honoured with an appearance on Beavis & Butthead, but the boys get a bit distracted by poo and the word ‘Uranus’ during it. Apparently there’s an X-Man named after this song too. Whatever that means.

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Nick Perry

Nick writes fact, fiction and opinion in various places including
his music blog noisecrumbs.com. His musical tastes cover indie, grunge, golden-era hip hop, punk, funk, psychedelia and a big portion of distortion. You can and should follow him on Twitter @NoiseCrumbs.

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