You should always throw up your metal horns for Monster Magnet frontman Dave Wyndorf whenever you see him, but should you come across him today, make sure there's a little extra evil behind it, as it's his birthday. The voice, guitar and primary songwriting mind behind Monster Magnet is now 54 years old, and as his band's just-released new album Mastermind proves, the guy still has it.
Wyndorf founded Monster Magnet back in 1989 (they were originally called Dog of Mystery and then Airport '75 before they settled on their name), and their sludgy, druggy version of arena metal ended up being years ahead of its time. Their first album Spin of God became an instant underground classic (and earned them a major label contract), but it wasn't until their third album (1995's Dopes to Infinity) that they started to gain national attention and found the fullest version of their sound. Dopes to Infinity is an incredible slab of groovy, hellish psychedelic noise, full of incredible riffs and shout-along choruses. Monster Magnet even started to pick up spins on mainstream radio and MTV with the single "Negasonic Teenage Warhead," a blistering gut punch of doped-up guitar swirls, teeth-chattering rhythmic blasts and a fantastic teen spirit refrain ("I will deny you!"). Their follow-up Powertrip was an even bigger success (mostly on the back of the single "Space Lord," which featured a video that mimicked the same kind of splashy, cinematic clips that Diddy was grinding out back in '98).
In the last decade, Monster Magnet have continued to deliver a steady stream of killer tracks on a handful of albums for various labels. The just-released Mastermind is wall-to-wall awesome, and their 2004 album Monolithic Baby! is one of the more underrated hard rock albums of the past decade. In honor of Mr. Wyndorf and his commitment to keeping fuzzy-headed rock alive, check out "Unbroken (Hotel Baby)."