If someone ever decides to write a self-help book called When Smart People Love Stupid Things, Rob Zombie would merit an entire chapter. Ever since launching White Zombie in 1985, former art student Rob Straker has turned an obsession with grade-B horror movies, superhero comics, Hot-rod racing and deafening heavy metal into a proud worldview. Beavis and Butt-head, Alice Cooper and Howard Stern number prominently among Zombie's admirers and collaborators. His new album, Hellbilly Deluxe (subtitle: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International), will no doubt only increase their regard and Zombie's already platinum-size following.
The music on Hellbilly, as usual with Zombie, is a force to be reckoned with pulverizing hard-rock riffs propelled by drums and electronic percussion, a sonic assault that, under all the bombast, is as meticulously arranged as any Whitney Houston track. Zombie sings in a studio-treated graveyard rasp, intoning lyrics along the lines of "She wants some more/Sweet Rosa Whore/I say hell is love." If some kids somewhere take all this pulp Satanism seriously, well, they'll surely soon be old enough to know better.
In the meantime, songs like "Superbeast," "Living Dead Girl" and "Meet the Creeper" will provide explosive, much-needed deliverance as mom and big sis troop off to Lilith Fair and dad cranks the latest Page and Plant. Fuck that shit. Rob Zombie knows that adolescence can feel like hell sometimes and that when it does, the only solution is to fan the flames. (RS 794)
(Posted: Aug 12, 1998)
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