After inventing the heavy
metal tag in the Bikers Anthem “Born To
Be Wild” and flying the anti-drug cause
in “The Pusher”, John Kay and the boys
turned their attention on the anti war
campaign with their smash hit album “Monster”.
Coming out during America’s involvement
in the Vietnam War this group of songs
proved very popular with the youth of
America with it’s stance against the military
war machine, and is as relevant now as
it was in 1970.
But casting aside all political intentations
of this group of songs (Steppenwolf’s
credibility later thrown into contrast
with albums such as “For Ladies Only”
and Steppenwolf at your birthday party).
The musical ability and the arrangements
shown on these songs are glaringly apparent
from the opening chords of the Trilogy
Monster/Suicide/America slipping from
country rock into heavy metal bluster
at the twinkling of an eye with its built
for stadium chorus’s, and cutting lyrics.
The strong guitar work of Larry Byrom
and Goldie McJohns keyboard work in particular
stand out supporting John Kays Rants.
The band also gets a chance to shine during
the albums only instrumental “Fag” which
is a slide guitar/piano workout which
comes in welcome contrast to some of this
albums heavier vocal songs.
That is not to say that all of the songs
hit the spot. They do with “Draft Resister”
- certainly being this Dog's rallying
call if somebody wanted to cart him off
to be shot at (especially against cats).
My two big complaints though are against
the Record company. In the days of Vinyl,
33 minutes is plainly not long enough.
Could they not have doubled it up with
Steppenwolf 7 (an album of equal length)
to make one C.D or found some out takes
or live versions?
My second major quibble is the transfer
of Monster onto C.D. This is appalling.
Removing all the pomp and majesty of the
original, this power package deserves
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew