Review by Ian Savage
You want grooving riffage? You want samples from obscure B-movies and references to religion and murderers at the same time as time-honoured American musical themes like chicks, booze and rock ‘n’ roll? If we’re being honest, where else were you going to go but Rob Zombie‘s latest offering?
It’s over three years since Hellbilly Deluxe 2 and the natives are getting restless. The Zombie/Manson co-headline tour of the UK last year whetted some appetites, but Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (henceforth known as VRRV – oddly enough also an old-school DOS command which could cause computers to shut down remotely) has been awaited with baited breath by many in the metal community anxious to see whether his musical compass has been swayed by bringing out a book, film and album in short order.
It’s almost a relief to say that VRRV doesn’t move too far from Zombie’s well-trodden path. From ‘Teenage Nosferatu Pussy’ onwards, almost every track is heralded by a spoken-word sample of some sort, and the clearly intentional vocal mishap of ‘Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga’ (hopefully titled to annoy reviewers and set-list writers, or both) lends a nicely intimate feel to the album regardless. One can practically visualise the video to most of the pounding, industrial-infused songs even if it will never be made; surely the mark of a multi-talented artist who has fully carved his niche. There aren’t many polymaths in the entertainment game these days, and Rob Zombie comes about as close as any.
You have to wonder on occasion whether the musical niche has become too deep. ‘Behold The Pretty Filthy Creatures’ is pretty much a White Zombie track, for better or worse, and the cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘We’re An American Band’ borders on toe-curling, but overall Zombie has put together a forward-thinking modern rock/metal album, with innovative flourishes but always based around a sound which is instantly identifiable. If you’re a metal fan looking for a modern Saturday night soundtrack, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is it.
8 out of 10
- 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 (Grand Funk Railroad cover)
- Lucifer Rising
- The Girl Who Loved The Monsters
- Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin