Sound — 8
Monster Magnet was one of the key players in the 90s "Stoner Rock" revival, and arguably it's most successful proponent. 1995s "Dopes to Infinity" saw them streamlining their approach and focusing on the psychedelic and space-rock obsessions of frontman Dave Wyndorf, while cleaning up their sound to make it more palatable for people who may NOT be full of hallucinogens when they listen to it. That being said, the album is a pretty fair replacement for hallucinogens, with amped-up sitars, guitars so heavy and forward in the mix that they send nu-metal home crying, lyrics that elevate excess to an art form, strings that don't actually make a song heavier, and an insistent attitude that you're hearing the most important band in the world. Yet, They also have a subtle sense of humor that lets on that they're smarter than you'd think- something that contemporaries like Kyuss and Sleep sometimes forgot to factor in. The sludge of the past albums is intact, boiled to down to average song lengths and given an edge that had been missing on "Spine of God" and "Superjudge". Fans of big riffs won't be disappointed. But there's more to the album than the riffs, although they do provide a giant foundation for this sprawling work. Admittedly, the sound isn't for everyone, but for those who appreciate a big, fuzzy guitar, Monster Magnet has them in spades.
Lyrics — 9
While probably not trying out for the Metropolitan Opera any time soon, Wyndorfs vocals are capable enough to get his tales of sci-fi demon orgies on Quaaludes pounded into your ears. Sometimes you can hear the wink in his voice, too. Never approaching anything close to a linear narrative, the lyrics are fine, creative slices of hubris, metal posturing, psychedelia, galactic doom, and drugged out derision that nicely complement the riffs beating you into submission. Wyndorf is one creative lyricist, and it's a great skill to sing with this much conviction about topics that invite a laugh.
Overall Impression — 8
Monster Magnet was ahead of the game by the time of "Dopes to Infinity". While a lot of bands in the genre still had their feelers out, Monster Magnet had their sound dialed in, even scoring a minor hit with "Negasonic Teenage Warhead". Highlights include the title track, which displays their classic sound and its new crispness, opening the album and causing ear blisters; the psychedelic "All Friends and Kingdom Come", with its garage rock roots; "Blow 'em Off", which introduces acoustic guitar to the Magnets canon; and "King of Mars", which shows the bands ability to create pocket for days. The instrumental tracks, which most people normally skip, are actually a fantastic listen as well. As previously mentioned, the sound of early 70s riff rock my not be everyones cup of acid, and the band definitely has a signature sound. Some might say that Monster Magnets next album, "Powertrip" was a better release, but the two form a pretty cohesive whole that serves to represent a fantastic, creative band at the height of its power.