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Spine of God
Spine of God
Spine of God's original cover,
Studio album by Monster Magnet
Released December 6 1991
Recorded Summer 1991 at Subterranean Sound in Long Branch, NJ
Genre Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock, Fuzz Rock
Length 49:48
Producer Dave Wyndorf, John McBain
Monster Magnet chronology
Monster Magnet
(1990)
Spine of God
(1991)
Tab
(1991)
Alternative Cover
Spine of God Reissue

Spine of God is the debut studio album by the New Jersey rock band Monster Magnet, released circa 6 December 1991 in Europe and later on 28 February 1992 in the United States. Though not a commercial success it did attain critical acclaim at the time of release, followed by near universal praise by retroactive critics.

The album's sound deviates into space rock, psychedelic rock and heavy stoner rock with influences drawn from the likes of Grand Funk Railroad (Whom they also covered on this album, performing "Sin's A Good Man's Brother"), Hawkwind, The Stooges, Funkadelic and much more. Spine of God has been cited as an early stoner rock album and a heavy influence on the genre as a whole.

BackgroundEdit

A few months after recording the EP Tab at Subterranean Sound, Monster Magnet would begin work on their debut album that summer. According to John McBain the band recorded with only sixteen tracks and claimed they only did that to "play it safe". It would also be Cronin's first Monster Magnet where he would be contributed and credited to the role of "lights", preferring the behind-the-scenes role.[1] Wyndorf had cited Jimi Hendrix and Blue Cheer as an influence on the album and frequently cited it as a "headphones" record.[2] The band listed the recording studio in the liner notes as "Spahn Ranch Studio", leading some people to believe that the band actually recorded there. Wyndorf humorously told the story behind that in an interview with Guitar World.[3] According to John McBain they referred to it as such because it fit the theme of the album.[4]

Spine of God would be released in Europe first on 6 December 1991 via Glitterhouse Records and later on 28 February 1992 via Primo Scree Records in the United States. Notably a French LP version would feature entirely different art and a misspelled song title in "Pill Shoved". Monster Magnet would tour Europe for the first time in support of the record. The members of Soundgarden had heard the album and absolutely loved it, bringing them on for a tour of North America afterwards. Monster Magnet has spoke positively of touring with Soundgarden. However at the end of this tour McBain would quit the band, citing a disinterest in touring and thus Spine of God would be the only Monster Magnet full-length he would play on. A music video for "Medicine" was made that got moderate airplay on MTV.[5] Notably the famous rap-rock group Beastie Boys lifted the riff from "Medicine" for their song "Sabotage", admitting they were all fans of the group.

The first re-issue of Spine of God would come in 1992 via Caroline Records. In the Spring of 2006 while the band was signed to Steamhammer and SPV both "Spine of God" and "Tab" would see re-issues with a full re-master, new artwork, bonus tracks and liner notes. The Bonus track here is a demo version of "Ozium" featuring Tim Cronin on drums. On 1 September 2017 Napalm Records would re-issue Spine of God and Tab again, the same version as the 2006 re-issues.[6]

In regards to critical reception Spine of God was praised early on, notably by Spin whom referred to is as "A Total KO" while comparing it favorable to the work of grunge rock icons of the day such as Soundgarden, Tad, and Mudhoney. Spine of God was listed as #9 on their "Ten Best Albums Of The Year You Didn't Hear" for 1991. With subsequent re-issues the album has attained universal praise from the likes of Blabbermouth (9.5/10),[7] Sputnik Music (4.5/5),[8] Metal Temple (9/10),[9] Metal Observer (9/10),[10] Doodlehound (10/10 / "Highest Possible Recommendation")[11] and New Noise Magazine (3.5/5).[12] Other notable review sites that praised the album would include The Obelisk,[13] Metal Nexus[14] and Unsung.[15]

Monster Magnet would tour Europe in the fall of 2012 performing the entirety of "Spine of God" along with rare early cuts, followed by a short USA tour.[16] "Spine of God" would also be inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame in January 2018.[17][18]

TracklistEdit

Monster Magnet - Medicine

Monster Magnet - Medicine

Spine Of God

Spine Of God

NOTE: Track 10 only appears on the re-issue. All songs written by Dave Wyndorf except where noted.

  • 1. Pill Shovel (John McBain, Dave Wyndorf) (4:00)
  • 2. Medicine (3:21)
  • 3. Nod Scene (McBain, Wyndorf) (6:46)
  • 4. Black Mastermind (McBain, Wyndorf) (8:13)
  • 5. Zodiac Lung (4:44)
  • 6. Spine of God (8:02)
  • 7. Snake Dance (3:10)
  • 8. Sin's a Good Man's Brother (Mark Farner) (3:31)
  • 9. Ozium (8:01)
  • 10. Ozium (Demo) (8:38)

PersonnelEdit

  • Dave Wyndorf - Guitar, Vocals, Producer
  • John McBain - Guitar, Backing Vocals, Producer
  • Joe Calandra - Bass
  • Jon Kleiman - Drums
  • Tim Cronin - Dope, Lights, Center of The Universe, Drums (Bonus Track)
  • Stacy "Springdale" Phelon - Engineer
  • Rob Leecock - Bullgod Design
  • Samantha Muccini - Photography
  • Reed Linkletter Jr. - Art Direction
  • Alexander Von Weiding - Reissue Artwork

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. / Freak Shop USA via Wayback Machine
  2. / Freak Shop USA via Wayback Machine
  3. / Guitar World via Wayback Machine
  4. / Freak Shop USA via Wayback Machine
  5. / Freak Shop USA via Wayback Machine
  6. Rock n' Load Magazine
  7. Blabbermouth
  8. Sputnik Music
  9. / Metal Temple
  10. Metal-Observer
  11. / Doodlehound
  12. New Noise Magazine
  13. The Obelisk
  14. Metal Nexus
  15. Head Heritage
  16. Loudwire
  17. Decibel Magazine
  18. Decibel Magazine
V·T·E Monster Magnet
Current Members Dave WyndorfPhil CaivanoBob PantellaGarrett SweeneyAlec Morton
Past Members John McBainTim CroninTom DielloEd MundellJim BaglinoJoe CalandraJon KleimanMichael WildwoodChris Kosnik
Studio Albums Spine of GodSuperjudgeDopes To InfinityPowertripGod Says NoMonolithic Baby!4-Way DiabloMastermindLast PatrolMindfucker
Extended Plays Monster MagnetTabSuperjudge / She Digs That HoleDopes
Demo Albums and Remix Albums Forget About Life, I'm High On DopeWe're Stoned, What Are You Going To Do About It?The TAB RemixMilking the Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol Cobras and Fire: The Mastermind Redux
Associated Bands, Artists, Etc. The Atomic BitchwaxGallery of MitesBlack NasaBlack NasaDaisycutterShrapnelThe Desert SessionsLove MonsterThe Ultra Electric Mega Galactic • Godspeed • Riotgod • Dirty Bird • Jakalope • Raging Slab • The Ribeye Brothers • A Thousand Knives of Fire • Love Among Freaks • Dog of Mystery • Pinque Phloyd • Acid Reich • The Wellwater Conspiracy • 9 Chambers • Human Remains
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