I’ve never been a fan of an artist tweaking with a release, especially after it has been available for fans to pay money for a couple of years. It rarely improves the product and in most cases damages the initial spark that brought it to life in the first place. Perfect example, how many people watched Star Wars and thought “Oh I wish Han didn’t shoot first!! Can we have a shit laser blast to appear from nowhere and make the character a little less bad ass please?” No one? Thought so.
Milking The Stars (or fans’ bank balance) is the new album by veteran space rockers Monster Magnet. The record features re-recordings of five tracks from the bands previous album The Last Patrol (both Napalm) which itself was released the previous year in 2013. Despite this Milking The Stars: A Reimaging Of The Last Patrol ,to give it its full title, reckons it would be a good idea to rerecord them. Oh and by ‘reimagining’ Dave Wyndorf and co basically mean, make it sound like The Doors then add more acid and tie dyed sheets.
The album opens on one of the new songs recorded for the release (five reimaginings, two live tracks and five brand new tracks for the album in total) called ‘Let The Circus Burn’ which can be best described as seven minutes of the band instrumentally pissing around. It might sound good if you were let’s say, smacked out on enough acid to wake Jim Morrison up in the morning, or think it was a good idea to let Ringo sing on a few songs, but to me this is unbearable self-indulgent hokum of the highest order.
The album does have some pretty dirty moments peppered throughout the record when it is not off tripping its face off. The third track ‘No Paradise For Me’ is pretty filthy stuff, not necessarily a return to their stoner roots or their Power Trip (A&M) days, but there is at least something in there.
Overall, Milking The Stars: A Re-imaging Of The Last Patrol is a reinterpretation of more recent material released by the band less than a year ago with more of a psychedelic vibe. I am going to be honest and say I am baffled as to why this “reimagining” exists as the tracks already feature a heavy psychedelic presence , with the re-recording seemingly pushing that into overdrive, damaging the album in the process.