Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review; Rob Zombie - Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor

Track Listing:

1. Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
2. Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown
3. Revelation Revolution
4. Theme For The Rat Vendor
5. Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
6. Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)
7. Behold! The Pretty Filthy Creatures
8. White Trash Freaks
9. We're An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad Cover)
10. Lucifer Rising
11. The Girl Who Loved The Monster
12. Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin

Throughout his solo career, Rob Zombie has had every album he's released since 1998's Hellbilly Deluxe measured up against said milestone record. There's no arguing that the original was the best in Zombie's run of solo albums, but each album thereafter has had its high points and great catchy tunes. His particular brand of Industrial tinged shock rock is unique in this world, and the lyrical content is best enjoyed with some willing suspension of disbelief. The use of horror movie imagery is hardly new, but Rob Zombie manages to freshen it up with random yet catchy lyrical themes that often come across as nonsensical in the best possible way. It was this formula, alongside an absolutely mind blowing stage show involving huge robots, fire and bizarre screen shows all aided by the charisma of the man himself, that have made Rob Zombie a big name in the rock and metal world.

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (Which is one of the best album titles ever!!) features all the elements from Rob's music that we have known and loved thus far; eerie horror movie samples, evil sounding riffs and guitar ditties, a larger-than-life party vibe, bizarre lyrics, and of course Rob's no-frills rock 'n' roll singing. What is a curveball on this album is that it has something of a nineties White Zombie feel to some of the songs such as the lead single "Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown". This is not necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy White Zombie, but feels very unusual this far into Rob's solo career. However, as mentioned, all the calling cards of Rob Zombie's solo career are present. This is nowhere best experienced than in the opening song "Teenage Nosferatu Pussy" - a massive, stomping tune with enough bombast to level Wembley Stadium.

The party never really ends in Zombie world, and further tunes like "Revelation Revolution" are equally suitable for headbangers and folk who want to dance, alike. "Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga" has a similar brag to make, but more-so than damn near any other Zombie song to date, it is shamelessly catchy and all the better for it. I can't listen to the title chant without both shouting along and stamping my foot.

"Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)" is a strange shift in pace, with its slow creeping verse suddenly exploding into a full on chorus, neither seem to compliment the other. "Behold! The Pretty Filthy Creatures" gets things back on track when it comes to energy, the tune itself is a grower rather than an instant set list must-have. The sense of swagger and groove is taken up to eleven on "White Trash Freaks" which is one of the album's highlights in my opinion. The cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band" is done well but isn't a great addition to the album, more of a setback. Each listener will either take it or leave it. The White Zombie vibe rears its head again on "Lucifer Rising" which is another good tune, but lacks the same hooks as the other songs. "The Girl Who Loved The Monster" has a great catchy chorus, and some creepy horror-movie style music behind the verse. On this song however, it gels together better than on the earlier mentioned "Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)". The final song is a two-minute burst of energy that again brings the 90's spirit back to the fray for a decent closing song.

This is a good album, make no mistake; but it feels like an album of two halves, with the first half dwarfing the second half with ease. In a way, I find myself feeling somewhat short-changed, particularly because this is an album I've really been looking forward to. No doubt the true test of these songs will be when they're played by Zombie at one of his gloriously over the top live shows. Let's be honest - Everything can be made better live, and a few explosions, robots and the like sure don't hurt that process either.

Rating: 6/10

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