ROB ZOMBIE

"Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" (UME; 2013)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Rob Zombie's "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" plays like a super-twisted, energy-packed journey into the sick mind of a true metal master. This music is fun, dark, macabre and as it plays out, it is like watching a collection of B movies on old time TV.

Rob Zombie shows once again why he is turning out to be not only a superbly talented musician and show man, but also one of the most talented directors in movies today. His latest movie, "The Lords of Salem," is sure to scare the shit out of you just like his previous movies have. Now back to the music:

"Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" (what's with that title?!) is by far Zombie's most ambitious musical demonstration to date. The release is strong from start to finish. As we all know, Zombie’s musical brilliance goes back decades and to say this is his best material is saying a lot, but that is just what I am doing!

"Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" shows maturity in all aspects of the recording: songwriting, musical delivery and production that come together to make a truly powerful metal recording.

I don't usually list the song titles of a recording, but I think in this case it is as much a look into Mr. Zombie’s brain as the music itself:
Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
Revelation Revolution
Theme for the Rat Vendor
Gong Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
Rock and Roll (In a Black Hole)
Behold! the Pretty Filthy Creatures
White Trash Freaks’
We’re an American Band, and yes this is a great cover of the Grand Funk Railroad cut.
Lucifer Rising
The Girl Who Loved The Monsters
Trade in Your Guns for a Coffin

Rob Zombie has outdone himself with "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor." It is by far his best overall recording and I think I will frickin' spin it a few more times and see what scares me this time around.

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

"Hellbilly Deluxe II" (Roadrunner; 2010)

Reviewed by Snidermann

It's always a good day when Rob Zombie releases a new recording, and what makes today especially grand is that the Zombieman is revisiting his grandly macabre recording from 1988, "Hellbilly Deluxe," with "Hellbilly Deluxe II."

Zombie puts his strange and witty stamp on yet another great recording, full of sick, bloody and twisted imaginary that starts with the first cut, "Jesus Frankenstein." Let’s just finish with the set list (I don’t usually do that, but in this instance, I feel it's warranted): Next up is "Sick Bubble Gum," then, simply, "What?" "Mars Needs Women," "Werewolf, Baby!" "Virgin Witch," "Death and Destiny," "Inside The Dream Factory," "Burn," "Cease To Exist," "Werewolf Women of the SS" and, finally (and strangely), "The Man Who Laughs." "Werewolf Women of the SS," of course, was showcased on Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s "Grindhouse" film from a few years ago.

As great as it to hear from Zombie, however, I found this second installment lacking in substance and it did not have the same snap, pizzazz, style, groove or whatever you want to call it. It is a good CD, don't get me wrong, but it lacks the originality and novelty of Chapter 1.

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

"Zombie Live" (Geffen Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you've seen Rob Zombie live, you know he puts on one of rock'n'roll's best live shows. This CD captures that fiery performance in 18 tracks of powerful Zombie mayhem.

Backed by a terrific band, Rob Zombie performs hits from his White Zombie days to his latest CD release ("Educated Horses") and fans won't be disappointed by the live sound (which is amazingly similar to the studio recordings). 

Still, there seems to be something missing. And, as you listen to "Zombie Live," you realize what it is. Despite the fact that this is a great live album, a Rob Zombie show is a multimedia performance and as much about the visual as the audio. Without the gothic theatrics, the eerie stage set and the fiery pyrotechnics ... not to mention Zombie's maniacal stage persona - "Zombie Live" just doesn't feel complete. This is one live CD that would have been better if it had been a DVD instead.

Still, it's great to hear Zombie perform live versions of some of his biggest hits and, even though you don't have the visual aspect, these live tracks will still kick your ass.

Performing on "Live Zombie" are: Rob Zombie - vocals; John 5 - guitar; Piggy D - bass; Tommy Clufetos - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

"Educated Horses" (Geffen Records; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Before we'd heard all of Rob Zombie's "Educated Horses," Rough Edge Writer Spudbeast told us that he'd read elsewhere that the new CD was more of the same from Rob Zombie. We all agreed that's exactly what we were looking forward to.

I like "Educated Horses" a lot. A new Zombie release is like a visit from a demented friend that you see every few years and who sits down with you and tells you bizarre, creepy bizarre tales. "Educated Horses" is vintage Rob Zombie. Dark and twisted images are just one aspect of the CD; it goes much deeper and darker than that. 

Zombie continues to scare us and thrill us with his imagination and ability to tell Edgar Allen Poe-type stories and make it sound like they could (and perhaps did?) happen in your own hometown. 

There is a great story behind how this CD came to be. After shooting his last film, "The Devil's Rejects," Zombie had said that he was going to focus on movie making for awhile and not get back to recording for perhaps years. As he headlined the Ozzfest tour Second Stage last year, however, Zombie had such a good time playing with his current lineup that he decided to go back into the studio to record a new CD. All the Zombie fans around the world, myself included, can only say, "Oh yeah!"

Educated Horses is just what you would expect from a full length Zombie release. I haven't stopped spinning this recording since I got it and it just gets better with each and every spin.

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

"Past, Present & Future" (Geffen Records)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Rob Zombie is a true icon of heavy metal, so it should it come as no surprise that this greatest hits package, containing 19 of Zombie's most popular tunes (including two previously unreleased tracks) rates a solid four chainsaws on the Rough Edge rating scale.

Contained on this CD are true classics from Zombie's "White Zombie" days, hits from his continuing solo era, rare guest appearances by such names as Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Howard Stern and Lionel Richie(?!) and two brand new songs, "Two Lane Blacktop" and "Girl on Fire," both of which indicate that Zombie is in no way ready to stop kicking our ass with his fiery blend of industrial-tinged heavy metal power.

Alone, this CD would rate a solid four chainsaw rating. But the CD also comes with a 10 track DVD including some of Zombie's most popular video tracks, including "Thunder Kiss '65," "Dragula" and "Living Dead Girl." Three of the included videos, "Demonoid Phenomenon," "Return of the Phantom Stranger" and "Spookshow Baby" are previously unreleased. This DVD could probably have sold as a separate DVD offering but it's offered free here. Can't get a bargain than that!

The bottom line is simple: This is a greatest hits collection that truly gathers the best of the best ... and then some. Rob Zombie fans should immediately snatch up this CD. New to Rob Zombie? This is a great place to start. Chances are, like the rest of us, you'll be bit by the bug (or should we say zombie?) and start digging up the previous work of Mr. Zombie as well.

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

"The Sinister Urge" (Geffen Records)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Rob Zombie is back in a big way with his new studio release, "The Sinister Urge." From the very first track, the Zombie signature sound erupts from the stereo like a bullet from a nine millimeter. Zombie's unique storytelling ability and his very perverse perspective combine perfectly to make for an extraordinary release. 

Ozzy Osbourne lends his vocal talent to "Iron Head," and, with the two on tour together this year, maybe we'll get the chance to see them perform this song on stage. 

Rob Zombie is to music what Clive Barker is to horror fiction (for those who need to ask who Clive Barker is, check out some of his books at your local bookstore. You will not be disappointed). When listening to this CD, you get the distinct impression of watching a classic black and white horror movie from the 50's or 60's, but with one difference: This definitely does not suck! 

The band here is as tight and as strong as any band out there today. Of course, I would expect nothing less from Rob Zombie. Each tune is a dark and twisted sonnet about demons, murder, blood and mayhem. What fun! This shit fucking rocks!

Walk, run, drive, hitchhike, take a cab, catch a bus, order it online - whatever! Just go buy the new Zombie CD and prepare to enter a dark world full of zombies and horror. 

"The Sinister Urge" was very easy to rate. It's one of the best hard rock/heavy metal CDs of the year!

Oh yeah - check out Zombie online at www.robzombie.com

Performing on "The Sinister Urge" are Zombie - vocals; Riggs - guitar; Blasko - bass; Tempesta - drums.

"American Made Music To Strip By" (Geffen Records)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's hard to be angry with Rob Zombie for releasing yet another collection of re-mixes because he's so damn good at it.

This collection of re-mixed tunes (listed below) is a very entertaining and atmospheric collection of Zombie-ania. "Dragula," "Superbeast" (track 11) and "Meet the Creeper" (track 12) are the standouts here. But each track has been re-mixed, re-kindled and re-worked so that sometimes there's only the barest resemblance to the original. And that's okay - that's what you want with a collection of Rob Zombie re-mixes. You want a collection of familiar tunes that have somehow become unfamiliar. "American Made Music To Strip By" delivers that.

But what we really want from Rob Zombie is new music. All new music. A true follow-up to his killer "Hellbilly Deluxe." (see Snidermann's review below). One of the bummers about "American Made Music" is that it even features duplicate remixes ("Superbeast" and "Meet the Creeper").

Of course, the packaging deserves to be mentioned. As always, it's got all that wild, Rob Zombie, "Odd Rods" kind of art including a zombie giving you the finger, a naked girl, lots of skulls and the numbers 13 and 69 throughout. It's very cool.

But what would be even cooler, Rob, is an all-new collection of tunes.

Track listing and re-mix credits for "American Made Music To Strip By" follows:
DRAGULA - Si non oscillas, noli tintinnare mix by Charlie Clouser
SUPERBEAST - Porno holocaust mix by Praga Khan and Oliver Adams
HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER - Kitty's Purrrrrformance Mix by God Lives Underwater
LIVING DEAD GIRL - Subliminal Seduction Mix by Charlie Clouser
SPOOKSHOW BABY - Black Leather Cat Suit Mix by Rammstein
DEMONOID PHENOMENON - Sin Lives Mix by Poly 915
THE BALLAD OF RESURRECTION JOE - Ilsa She Wolf of Hollywood Mix by Phillip Stein
WHAT LURKS ON CHANNEL X? - XXX Mix by Spacetruckers
MEET THE CREEPER - Pink Pussy Mix by Steve Duda
RETURN OF THE PHANTOM STRANGER - Tuesday Night at the Chop Shop Mix by Chris Vrenna
SUPERBEAST - Girl on a Motorcycle Mix by Charlie Clouser
MEET THE CREEPER - Brute Man & Wonder Girl Mix by DJ Lethal

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

zombie.jpg (18622 bytes)"Hellbilly Deluxe" (Geffen Records)

Reviewed by Snidermann

White Zombie's Rob Zombie has done it again! His new Geffen Records CD "Hellbilly Deluxe" is a tribute to everything that is Rob Zombie. His heavy signature musical style is ever prevalent in this recording, mixed with a complicated beat, distinctive vocals and a killer story line that makes this a candidate for Best Hard Rock CD of the year. 

If you have any questions about this recording, all you need to do is read the cover, which states "13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International." The cover art and also the art in the CD jacket is Rob Zombie through and through (with a little help from his talented friends), making this CD almost as fun to look at as to listen to. 

Zombie's music is hard driving and keeps you going throughout. The lyrics are a little hard to discern, but what Zombie has to say is easy to understand. His twisted storytelling and musical concept is a mixture of Alice Cooper, Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, with a little Edgar Allen Poe added for good measure. What I like best about "Hellbilly Deluxe" is the sheer boldness in which Zombie tells his dark ditties of death and destruction, screaming and yelling his message to (in Rob's own words) an "ever expanding Zombie Universe." 

Fans old and new will dig this recording; not only is it classic Zombie, but it raises the bar on what is exceptional in heavy music today. Thank goodness there are artists like Rob Zombie around - he reminds us that life is too short to take to seriously. This is one of my favorite recordings right now. Hey, it won't stop world hunger, but what the hell, it makes me feel good when I listen to it. An A++ in my book. Rock Like A Zombie!

For more information, check out http://www.robzombie.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Apr 2013 01:12:09 -0500 .