Available on Compact Disc (reviewed), Vinyl, and Digital Download
Distributed by Universal Music Enterprises
After fifteen years, three albums, four feature films, an animated flick, and a comic book series, Rob Zombie has finally managed to deliver a collection of music that lives up to his 1998 solo debut Hellbilly Deluxe. Sure, while The Sinister Urge was decent (Educated Horses and Hellbilly Deluxe 2, not so much), Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor marks his first album that manages to capture the energy and swagger of that initial post-White Zombie release. And while it will no doubt turn off many who already despise the man and his work, longtime fans will likely find much here to enjoy.
Opening with “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” (just typed that, I did), a creepy tune boasting cool guitar riffs and Zombie’s usual growl, the album proceeds to assault listeners with a number of songs with varying styles associated with the singer’s oeuvre. “Revelation Revolution” and “White Trash Freaks” are high energy tunes reminiscent of his work with White Zombie, while the brief “Theme For The Rat Vendor” and “The Girl Who Loved The Monsters” are slower tracks seemingly designed to crawl under the listener’s skin and writhe around a bit. Also worth a listen are the supercharged “Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin” and the almost anthemic “We’re An American Band.”
Of course, Vendor is full of the typically nonsensical lyrics that are hallmarks of the man’s musical output, and not every song is a home run. In fact, there isn’t a single track here that stands out as a “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, or even Urge’s “Feel So Numb”. While “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” was the album’s first single, it’s one of the weaker entries here. Far more interesting are “Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures!” and “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” (a potential earworm, if you could remember the damn title offhand), both energetic ditties that’ll bring your inner headbanger out, even if they’ll probably never be regarded as classics.
All that aside, Vendor has a momentum that Zombie’s last several releases haven’t. Though the sounds run the gamut from powerful to haunting, driving to creeping, trippy to scary – every song feels like a small piece of a larger whole. This will be a CD you’ll likely pop in and hit “shuffle” on, rather than simply skip to your favorite tracks. And as a whole, it’s a winner.
If you dig the man’s work, you’ll wanna check out this album ASAP. It’s a welcome return to the late 90s Zombie and a CD I’ll spin many, many times in the near future. But again, for those who dislike the man’s work… erm, why are you here again?
1. Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
2. Dead City Radio and The New Gods of Supertown
3. Revelation Revolution
4. Theme for The Rat Vendor
5. Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
6. Rock and Roll (In A Black Hole)
7. Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures!
8. White Trash Freaks
9. We’re An American Band
10. Lucifer Rising
11. The Girl Who Loved The Monsters
12. Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin
4 out of 5