Archive: 4-Way Diablo

Monster Magnet
4-Way Diablo
Rock/Stoner Rock/Psych. Rock

Every so often I'll re-post a relevant review from a previous era of this project. This is one. 

If Dave Wyndorf came over to your house, one of three things could happen. First, and most likely, he would introduce you to a number of women who, despite being at your place, eating your food and drinking your liquor, would never speak to you again. If you were blocking their way to the bathroom, they would stare at you until you got out of their way. You're just not as cool as Dave, no matter how hospitable you are.

The second thing that could happen, equally possible, would be a series of unexplainable, infinitely beautiful personal experiences achieved with the aid of a number of mood altering substances. At the end of what you will come to call the most important night of your life, you will make Dave a massive breakfast and send him on his way with your eternal thanks.

The third possibility is that Dave will make it to your house only to collapse on your couch seconds after arriving. He'd sleep for 10 hours before waking, step on your cat on the way to the bathroom, use your cell phone to call your girlfriend and leave her his number, grab your last beer on his way out the door and peel out of your driveway in a lime green muscle car of doom, giving your neighbor the finger for good measure. He'd never take off his sunglasses - you'd never see his eyes. For this blessing you will count yourself lucky.

MM is Wyndorf's baby, and from the its earliest releases his personality has been sown throughout the band's catalog. Part cock-rock power-trip, part psych/space-rock odyssey and part emotional bloodletting, MM is as much a reflection on Wyndorf's personality and lifestyle as it is a rock band. He is lyricist, emotional center, and creative force. He is a frontman, through and through, as inseparable from the band he leads as your head is from your neck. Seriously. And in a landscape short on rock die-hards and long on wannabes, Wyndorf represents all that is good and righteous in the world of rock. Doubt it? He didn't even change his name. Look up Gene Simmons' real name. Better or worse than Wyndorf?

4-Way Diablo is a good, well-paced rock album that will take up more than its fair share of time in my CD player in the coming months. The stoner-rock influence is evident, but not as played up as previous efforts. The loping rhythm of the title track followed by the straight-ahead rock of "Wall of Fire" open things up, and with the exception of the final track ,("Little Bag of Gloom"), are the only songs under four minutes. "Gloom" is a simple song, backed by what sounds like a Casio organ. In between we're treated to a range of rock songs, including a cover of the Rolling Stone's "2000 Light Years from Home."

By far my favorite MM songs are the slower, mid-tempo tracks. These also tend to be the songs where the psych/stoner/space rock influences are most apparent. "Cyclone", "I'm Calling You" and the instrumental "Freeze and Pixillate" fit the bill nicely for anybody seeking a smoother rock experience with a hint of exploration. "Solid Gold" is the standout track, and like some other MM efforts, ("Third Alternative" from Dopes to Infinity and the title track from Spine of God come to mind) is also the longest. MM seems to flourish when it comes to long-form rock songs, never having to resort to the single-chord-jam-with- accompanying- 2-minute-solo to round things out. They may be long, but the songs never come off as self-indulgent.

This is a rock album, and a good one. One man's inspiration and passion is on display here, and it works. You probably won't reach any new and wonderful conclusions about yourself and why you're on the planet from listening, but so what? Give over to Dave what is rightly his and follow the glittering path to rock salvation. Purpose in service, rockers, purpose in service.

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