CD Review: Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor

There is something subtly different about this album, something darker and meaner.

Rob-Zombie-Venomous-Rat-Regeneration-SystemReview by David Feltman

A lot about Rob Zombie’s fifth album is going to sound familiar to long time fans. At this point in his career, it’s difficult to find new angles on the devil a-go-go stripper rock that Zombie coined back in the last days of White Zombie. Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor treads much of the same ground as The Sinister Urge and Hellbilly Deluxe, but there is something subtly different about this album, something darker and meaner. That difference is the old school fat and heavy hard rock riffs hiding underneath the static effects and demon voices.

Zombie starts the album off on safe ground, but by the third track you realize he’s slipped you a 70s classic rock mickey. “Revelation Revolution” throws a bait and switch, beginning with a heavy techno beat and quickly replacing it with a riff that lies somewhere between Deep Purple and AC/DC. The new single, “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown,” rides a psychedelic blues lick propelled by new recruit and former Marilyn Manson drummer Ginger Fish. And the band sprinkles in some Ray Manzarek style keyboards for good measure. Zombie even goes so far as to proudly parade his inspirations with a cowbell packed metal cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.”

The music is hard and fast and fun. The lyrics, however, find Zombie grasping. As if playing his very own special brand of Rob Zombie Mad Libs, both the album title and track titles like “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy,” just seem like words that were put together because he thought they sounded cool. There’s a multitude of “C’mon, c’mons” and “get it ons” and “hey, hey yeahs.” And the only conceivable excuse for “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” is either early onset dementia or a mild stroke. But lyrics have never been Zombie’s strongest suit and it does little to diminish his signature sound.

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