Monster Magnet + Puppy @ Electric Brixton, London

Date: 29th January 2019
Review Photography By: Ryan Whitwell / Shotison.com

Not even a year has passed since I saw Monster Magnet at the Roundhouse, closing Desertfest London in 2018, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them again on their Mindfucker tour at a new venue for me, Electric Brixton. Tonight they were joined by a London based band that I have been keeping an ear on for a while, Puppy.

I saw Puppy support Turbowolf last year at Scala, and liked what I heard. This time they had a brand new album with them and a different set list. Sadly the recorded walk on music didn’t work tonight, so we missed out hearing The Terminator theme song, but it did offer a chance for the band to sing the opening bars before starting the set proper.

The trio sounded solid with the guitar swapping between a crisp tone and a nice meaty crunch for heavier sections. The drummer was very active with some emphatic facial expressions and the band had bags of bass giving the Orange amp a workout.

The songs were an eclectic mix, with some softer tones intertwined with the dishing out of some hefty riffs. Vocally I was reminded of Billy Corgan. It was a lively set with plenty to get warmed up to, and I couldn’t shake the Smashing Pumpkins vibe, especially with tracks like ‘Forever’, which is no bad thing in my opinion.

The venue was pretty much full and anticipation grew for Monster Magnet.

The lighting got more “creative”, which gave my camera a good workout. The fog machine was set to overdrive and the riffs that came from beyond the smoke and coloured beams of light certainly got front row feeling good with heads nodding and plenty of grins.

Big punchy sound tonight, as expected, with the on stage energy to match. The venue felt like a good size for the tone (personally, I felt the bass when I saw them at Roundhouse didn’t have quite the same hit as it did in the slightly smaller Electric Brixton).

Frontman Dave Wyndorf was fist pumping and pointing out members of the crowd for the whole set. The other men on the front line, Phil Caivano, Garrett Sweeny and Chris Kosnik took turns to lean out towards the fans as the drummer, Bob Pantella, was shrouded in smoke and coloured lights at the back.

After the three-song photo pit limit, I took up residence off to the side. Teenage Negasonic Warhead certainly got a good little singalong among the pocket of fans around me and plenty of other fans too.

Wyndorf treated us to a speech to say thanks to us fans among other things as that lovely ‘Spacelord’ riff played under his words. Of course, there was more singing along when the song fully kicked in. There aren’t many opportunities to shout “Space Lord Mother Fucker” in public without getting some funny looks.

The band dispersed, which prompted chants of “mon-ster-mag-net” from much of the crowd before the encore. The instrumental CNN War Theme was first with all bar Wyndorf on stage, then Dinosaur Vacuum before, of course, Powertrip to close the night. Love that big rolling drum, and with the crowd singing and plenty of movement in the middle of the floor, it was a cracking way to end an already full-on set.

Setlist:
DOPES TO INFINITY
ROCKET FREAK
CROP CIRCLE
RADIATION DAY
MELT
LOOK TO YOUR ORB
EGO LIVING PLANET
WHEN THE HAMMER
NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD
SPACELORD

Encore:
CNN WAR THEME
DINOSAUR VACUUM
POWERTRIP

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