Rob Zombie: Dead Rats, Teenage Vampires and Rhinestone Tigers in Leisure Suits

Who ever said rock is dead? It may be close with all these horrid singing competitions like The Voice, X-Factor and American Idol wanna-be’s searching for the next Justin Bieber. These shows are full of lame cover songs and remixes of Top 40 hits from yesteryear–but you know what you never hear a good rock tune on these shows. You know why? It takes real talent and a bit of an evil mind to play a good rock tune. Not just melody that you learn in your mom’s bathroom singing into a hairbrush in the mirror.

That brings me to Rob Zombie’s Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor. It 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 has turned 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 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. I grew up on Zombie. I was listening to him in high school when others were grovin’ to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. True, Soul Crusher (1987) is a much different Rob Zombie than today but you could tell then that this guy would stick around for a while.

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 and back is the campiness of Hellbilly Deluxe that has been lost in the last couple Zombie releases. Back is the thrashing guitars of John 5, the thumpin’ bass of Piggy D and new to the line up is the pelting drums of Ginger Fish formerly of Marilyn Manson.

The song titles alone allow us a look into Mr. Zombie’s brain as the music itself. With lyrics like: “Strapped behind the wheel of a flat-bed truck / A payload of pussy and Peking Duck / High on the fumes and high on the gas / Rally round the girl with the skull on her ass,” how could you go wrong?

Tracks

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

While I will still have to listen to this CD a few more times for it to really sink in, after the first couple times it is beginning to grow on me. As you listen to the tracks it takes you down a winding path that is prevalent through his musical career. Whether is is the crunching guitars you heard on Astro Creep, to catchy little tunes you hear on Educated Horses to Techo-thump on Mondo Sex Head. Zombie may not be for everyone but if you are a fan of his style you are sure to enjoy this one.

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