The album is absolutely spot-on in terms of quality, the songs are memorable, the production is good and there is an audible enthusiasm to the performance. Monster Magnet, like so many bands, may have a reputation stating that their early stuff is what you want to be listening to and the rest is take-it-or-leave-it, but I assure you that in the case of Monolithic Baby! that is only a stylistic argument, not a qualitative one.
The aforementioned stripped back sound finds the band concentrating mostly on fundamental and simplistic rock tracks, that eschew whatever elements of psychedelic sounds were found in the bands style from their first few releases as well as no longer exploring many different directions at once, like on the two eclectic albums which preceded this one.
The fact that there are no surf songs, electronic semi-ballads or drugged out eastern tinged epics could be seen as boring, indicating a lack of variety and an unwillingness to break any new ground. Conversely, it can be viewed as the band concentrating on what they do best, uncomplicated by external factors and delivering only the hard rock, giving only big riffs, gnarly solos and attitude filled vocals.
Regardless of which way you view the change in direction, there are some very great songs on this album, including the (almost) title track ‘Monolithic’ as well as the strong opener ‘Slut Machine’ and the famous and very catchy ‘Radiation Day.’
Most Monster Magnet fans are fond of Dave’s Vocals and lyrics, which are up to their usual high standard on this record, and most fans will be more than happy with this album, the songwriting is of a very high caliber and there are so many rocking songs that this is one of the most direct, focused and in your face records the band have made.
Of course, some Monster Magnet fans don’t necessarily dig direct rock songs and therefor could ask for a little more variety from the album, perhaps more crazy effects, longer songs and inclusion of a wider array of instruments. If that describes your feelings in similar situations then maybe give Monolithic Baby! a miss, elsewise do not hesitate to pick up a copy, it really is a very enjoyable record.