After a nearly 15-year hiatus, Chilliwack's Mystery Machine returned in the fall of 2012 with Western Magnetics, the band's first album since 1998's Headfirst into Everything. Its 10 songs were recorded over a period that stretched from 1999 to 2011. During this time, different lineups completed sessions with a handful of producers in various studios. Original drummer Jordan Pratt appears on half the tracks, while more recent addition Mario Nieva performs on the others. Sessions took place at the Vancouver studios Mushroom, Slack and Big Midget, with recording overseen by producers Vince Jones, Blair Calibaba and Tim Oberthier.