Monster Magnet have announced their first covers album, A Better Dystopia, which will arrive on May 21.
The album comprises 13 tracks from the late-‘60s and early ‘70s psych and proto-metal scenes, which influenced the members of the New Jersey quintet during their formative years.
Frontman Dave Wyndorf said he got the inspiration to record A Better Dystopia after the band returned from a European tour in February 2020, only to watch the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown,” Wyndorf said in a statement. “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?”
The band, which scored a pair of alternative radio hits with 1995’s “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” and 1998’s “Space Lord,” previewed the upcoming LP with a trippy animated video for “Mr. Destroyer,” originally performed by Poobah, which you can watch below.
Wyndorf added that the turmoil and anxiety plaguing the U.S. over the past year reminded him of the sociopolitical upheaval of his childhood. The songs on A Better Dystopia soundtracked that turbulent time and his own coming-of-age, and he wanted to pay homage to them.
“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,” he said. “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.”
A Better Dystopia features Wyndorf, guitarists Phil Caivano and Garret Sweeny, bassist Alec Morton and drummer Bob Pantella. The album will be available digitally, as a CD digipak and in a variety of colored vinyl variants. You can see the track listing below.
Monster Magnet, ‘A Better Dystopia’ Track Listing:
1. “The Diamond Mine”
2. “Born to Go”
3. “Epitaph for a Head”
4. “Solid Gold Hell”
5. “Be Forewarned”
6. “Mr. Destroyer”
7. “When the Wolf Sits”
10. “It’s Trash”
11. “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)”
12. “Learning to Die”
13. “Welcome to the Void” – Bonus Track