Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rob Zombie - Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor [album review]


Released in April

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, Rob Zombie's fifth solo studio album, continues the B-horror movie-themed metal/punk/industrial/electronica hybrid musical style that he began with White Zombie in the late 80s. Recorded right after work was finished on The Lords Of Salem, his newest feature directorial effort released last month, Venomous... is on par with the return to form that was 2010's Hellbilly Deluxe 2 (which I reviewed here).

Throw out the rather pointless minute-long instrumental titled "Theme From The Rat Vendor" and most of the tracks from Venomous... are very good to excellent. In the latter category, we have the high energy "Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown", which features a killer guitar riff from John 5 and a unique song structure that delivers the verse sections in two different ways (check out the bizarre video below), the forceful "Lucifer Rising", and album closer "Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin", a standout that packs its assault into a concise two minute and eleven second-long running time. In the "very good" category we have "The Girl Who Loved The Monsters", a damn fine cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band", "White Trash Freaks", "Behold, The Pretty Filthy Pretty Creatures!", "Revelation Revolution", and "Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)", which utilizes an effective quiet-loud dynamic. Venomous... is a loosely conceived concept album whose theme only Zombie knows, although I suspect that even if Zombie did lay things out more clearly about the concept, it'd still be impossible to figure out, given the man's penchant for highly inscrutable lyrics. Take, for example, the title of one of the albums less stellar songs: "Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga". 

Like Hellbilly Deluxe 2, Venomous... finds Zombie regurgitating his past and displaying little musical growth, but still producing a very respectable number of memorable tracks steeped in strangeness, camp, and the macabre. A worthy addition to the demented musician's catalogue. 

Rating: B

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