Let’s face it, Rob Zombie’s music has seemed to suffer in the last few years. “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” was okay, but didn’t meet all the hype that was given and let’s not mention that horrid remix album from last year. While the album isn’t his best work ever, it is his most solid since the mid-2000s. Maybe it’s because he brought out some classic Zombie tricks for great songs or he decided to actually focus on his music for a change.
Rob Zombie doesn’t seem to be afraid to try out new things for his music and while all attempts may not be successful here the subtle change isn’t bad. What separates this album from his others is that there doesn’t seem to be as many horror movie references as found before. He does toss in a couple found on songs like “The Girl Who Loved the Monster” and “Behold! The Pretty Filthy Creatures,” but for the most part there aren’t many found here. Rather Zombie seems to be going for a trippy feel with this record. Most of the lyrics are just weird and present some really weird images. Some of the music itself has this trippy feeling as well.
The short instrumental “Theme for Rat Vendor” has this psychedelic, sitar music playing. It also has this Middle Eastern flavor that makes you think a belly dancer is going to slink into your living room. But unlike his previous studio album, this one has more songs that actually stick with you. Despite the stupid name “Teenage Nosferatu P***y” is one of the best songs on the record. In classic Rob Zombie form, it begins with creepy samples from old movies until the slow, heavy music comes in. It has this damning feel to it, like you know something bad is coming for you. The chorus of “teenage Nosferatu p***y, turn it up, turn it on” is reminiscent of the chorus from his older song “Demonoid Phenomenon.” It’s catchy and easy to sing. Still, it’s a great opener that makes you curious about the rest of the record.
“Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” isn’t the best Rob Zombie song out there, but it’s decent enough. If anything it’ll start to grow on you if you listen to it enough times. While it does have that classic Zombie heaviness and groove that’s found on his best songs, it’s almost too much going on here, considering the music and the spoken word bits Zombie does. Oddly enough, it does sound like something found on his earlier albums, which is another theme he seems to be exploring with this record. Another good song is “Rock and Roll (In a Black Hole).” While it can get somewhat repetitive with the simple chorus and the weird counting that’s involved, it’s a good track. It’s the chorus itself that makes the song. It’s loud, fast, heavy, and catchy like a good Rob Zombie song should be.
The second half of the album gets a little dull as the songs start sounding similar to one another. They’re not bad, but tracks like “Lucifer Rising” and “Trade in Your Guns for a Coffin” have nothing about them that make them stand out. That being said, most of the songs here are good expect for the baffling cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.” Out of all the awesome and amazing classic rock songs that he could’ve covered, he chose this one. It wouldn’t be so bad if he actually made the song bearable or really different, but it’s basically the same song with some additional guitars and gritty vocals. It really feels like filler for the album, especially since it doesn’t fit in with the sound or feel of the rest of the songs. Definitely a low point for this record. Despite this, it’s still a really solid release and one of the best recent Rob Zombie albums.
“Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor” is out now. To buy your copy and to keep up with the latest Rob Zombie news, visit his official website.
For reviews on Rob Zombie’s best albums, visit Radio Not Found.