The King of modern Horror Rock has returned with a new record drenched in acid grooves and psychedelic, swinging riffs. Rob Zombie is a controversial figure amongst film fans; some adore his work and other not so much. His love for Horror has never been in doubt, nor has his always entertaining music career. He’s made some great albums with White Zombie and on his own, and some that weren’t so great. But he’s never boring, and Zombie has never held back on doing what he wanted to do. He’s been true to whatever vision he’s had in his head, and that’s something not only to be admired, but applauded.
His new record is ridiculously titled “The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy” and the music within is just as looney as that moniker. He returns to a mix of the old White Zombie sound and the pocket of Industrial Metal that he perfected with his first two solo records. Yeah, it's a return to form, for sure, but he adds touches of Funk here and there, and the most important aspect is that he has rediscovered his knack for writing a true groove that will bang your head and shake your ass at the same time. This one has seventeen tracks, but of those, six of them are those little interstitial moments that populated his earliest work, snippets of film clips and dioramas of sound. So really, you’ve got eleven full songs, and they’re all strong, from start to finish.
“The Triumph of King Freak” lets you know right away that you’re back to Hellbilly Deluxe Zombie. Crushingly heavy but also pleasingly groovy, it hits all the right spots. “The Ballad of Sleazy Rider” swings, baby, full of sixties garage rock swagger, laced with funk. Speaking of shaking your ass, look no further than “Shadow of the Cemetery Man,” which could have been an unreleased cut from the La Sexorcisto… album. “18th Century Cannibals…” is a real hoedown, and I mean that literally. It hee-haws right along, Zombie showing he’s perfectly comfortable hanging out in a total foreign music genre before it gets heavy and slamming. It’s a fun track that might piss off those with no sense of humor, or those simply there for the metal riffs, but for me, it was a blast. It sort of comes across like a demented version of one of those animatronic animal jug bands you’d see at an amusement park or a Chuck E Cheese. “The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man” is a straight-up rocker, pulling no punches as it steamrolls you with some tasty licks. “The Much Talked of Metamorphosis” is a tiny little acoustic number, not really an intro, just a nice respite from the insanity. The action cranks right back up with the almost punkish “The Satanic Rites of Blacula,” which shoots its shot and takes off, not sticking around to grow clumsy or burdensome. “Shake Your Ass and Smoke Your Grass” is just what you’d think it is, a crowd-pleasing little ditty that is more designed to make you dance and sing along rather than bang your head. “Boom-Boom-Boom” is a snaking little blues smolder, perfect for the strippers out there to slink around on stage to, a song of deathly seduction. “Get Loose” starts with some jangly sixties-style sitar before sliding into a fairly typical Zombie composition. Maybe it borders on filler, but the psychedelic touches really save it. And finally (finally!), closing number “Crow Killer Blues” comes raging along, Metal as hell, Industrial as hell, swinging as hell, another dip into Zombie’s signature style. It’s a great, solid way to end a great, solid record.
Zombie doesn’t really do much new here, nor does he seek to redefine his sound. Instead, he experiments in dribs and drabs, adding some things to his sonic assault, but mostly sticking with what he does best. And that’s a good thing, because this new record, clocking in at around 45 minutes long, is a real treat. This is the best album he’s done in a long time, maybe the best since The Sinister Urge. So if you’re a fan, you’ve got quite a treat in store for you. If you’re new to his music, this is a great place to start. Rocking, rolling, grooving, nasty and filled with horror, Zombie delivers on his latest opus.
Four Buckets of Blood out of Four
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Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews. He likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: www.kellymhudson.com or on Amazon