If I were to tell you that there's a new Rob Zombie album, could you guess what it sounds like?
Yes mamma! Rob is back with another album of the same old stuff: The same effect-fried metallic guitars, gorilla-on-crack drumming, creepy keyboards, B-movie film samples, Satanic-horror-evil-robot-naked-women artwork, and that gigantic dreadlock mess and Moses beard that makes you wonder, "is there a squirrel living in there." Oh, and he still starts every song with "Yeaaah!"
So you must be wondering, "Why bother to review an album that sounds exactly like every other Rob Zombie album?" "Why not grab your previous Zombie review and cut-n-paste the new album title in place of the old?" Well, to be frank, despite the fact that this is probably the weakest Zombie album yet, I still like it. I still like the insane, over-the-top production. I still like the obnoxious, inane, and at times totally retarded lyrics. I still like the fact that every Rob Zombie album sounds like late 80s / early 90s Wax Trax! industrial. Don't bother telling me I dwell in the past - and don't bother telling Rob Zombie either.
In all fairness, there are some changes to the Zombie sound on The Sinister Urge. The use of record scratching, courtesy of DJ Lethal and Mix Master Mike, adds a modern touch to the record, but I'm not sure its necessary. Rob also employs a touch more keyboards and electronics on Urge - Bring Her Down sounds more like the soundtrack to the Mummy, than heavy metal.
33% of Sinister Urge is rockin', 33% is mundane and forgettable and the remaining 34% is just plain awful. Again these percentages are typical of a Zombie release, but this time the rotten is very rotten, and the rockin' is teetering precariously on the edge of the mundane. Truly awful songs include Never Gonna Stop which sounds like a Tony Robbins motivational tape, and Iron Head which is a boring and ill conceived duet with Ozzy Osborne.
There are some true gems on the album. Scum of the Earth and Dead Girl Superstar are classic Rob Zombie tracks - see the second paragraph for a basic description. Dead Girl Superstar gets extra props for sampling 1970s Blaxsploitation classic Truck Turner. House of 1000 Corpses, presumably the theme song to the Zombie directed horror film of the same name, is a raw and bloody blues stomp. Corpses is a real treat for Zombie fans who appreciate his taste for horror. I hope his film gets released soon*. I also hope Rob tries something fresh and new on his next album, besides record scratching.
Post: Rob Zombie, 8491 Sunset Blvd #215, Hollywood, CA, 90069
* See the Internet Movie Database for more information: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0251736