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Album Review: Rob Zombie

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | FEBRUARY 02, 2010 7:30 AM

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Rob Zombie is bloody, scarred, and pissed off on the cover of Hellbilly Deluxe 2, which is a good indicator for what’s in store for the listener on the new disc — it is his most aggressive and consistent in years.

Fans might question why Zombie decided to make this album a sequel to Hellbilly Deluxe. Obviously, the vocalist thought the latest collection of tunes was worthy of the moniker given to his début industrial-tinged album, but the name is where the similarities begin and end.

Hellbilly Deluxe 2 builds more off the Alice Cooper vibe of Zombie’s previous album Educated Horses to create a blend of fuzzy guitars and snarling vocals that could very well be described as strip-club rock ’n’ roll.

Zombie is no stranger to filmmaking, and with such tracks as “Jesus Frankenstein,” “Mars Needs Women,” and “Werewolf Women of the SS,” the recording sounds like it could be the soundtrack to an old B-movie drive-in horror flick. The album really stands up well as a whole, which is good news in the age of the digital single.

“Sick Bubblegum” is one of the standout tracks on the album, that manages to groove despite featuring a chorus simply repeating “Rock motherf—, rock the motherf—, rock motherf—, yeah-ah.”

It’s simple and heavy, and is the kind of song that will be stuck in listener’s heads for days.

Zombie must have listened to a lot of Lynyrd Skynyrd when recording the album because songs such as “What?” have a gritty, Southern-rock vibe. This song will likely be another staple in the band’s powerful live show because of its energetic vocals, which are Zombie’s specialty.

After these two radio-worthy songs, he experiments more with his traditional sound with help from guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D., and drummer Tommy Clufetos. The backing band is definitely the best Zombie has ever had, and despite each member’s awesome talent, each knows when not to show off.

The track “Mars Needs Women,” starts out with an acoustic-guitar lick building up to a slamming drum beat and Zombie shouting, “Mars needs women, angry red women,” with the occasional woman moaning in ecstasy sound effects he likes so much. “Werewolf, Baby” features slide guitar, and “Dream Factory,” is full of interesting guitar-pedal wizardry.

Perhaps the strongest performance of all on the album is from drummer Clufetos, who previously played with shock-rock king Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. His drumming is set perfectly into the album’s mix, and there are plenty of complex fills thrown in throughout the CD. The drummer even gets his own extended solo in “The Man Who Laughs,” which is unusual to hear on a modern studio album.

With Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Zombie establishes himself as more than just a passing trend in the metal world. He has the ability to craft rock ’n’ roll that is both catchy and fun, while also showcasing the talent of his bandmates. If anyone can bare the torch passed on by Alice Cooper, it is definitely Rob Zombie.


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