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Rob Zombie; Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
April 23, 2013
Zodiac Swan Records / T-Boy Records / Universal Music Enterprises

After over twenty years of making music, it would be easy for an artist to fall into old habits and stale patterns of crafting music. It would be easy to stick to the typical formula of writing songs and to give the fans the type of music that they expect. Not so with Rob Zombie.
Zombie’s fifth studio album as a solo artist, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is just as melodically brutal as his previous releases, yet shows an intense urgency to prove that Zombie has earned his title as one of the founding fathers of heavy metal genre. Zombie has found a musical soulmate in former Marilyn Manson guitarist John5, this album being the third that the two have worked together on.
I admit that I was hesitant about John5 joining Zombie’s motley crew, wondering if John5’s addition would drastically alter Zombie’s sound but it didnt. Zombie working with John5 only enhanced the dark undertones of the music and gave the tracks a more authentic rock feel. Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is also the first Rob Zombie album to feature drummer Ginger Fish who, along with John 5, was part of Marilyn Manson during the band’s peak. VRRV also finds Zombie working with producer Bob Marlette. You may not know who Marlette is but you’ve heard music that he’s been credited on. Marlette has previously worked with John5 on Rob Halford’s 2wo release, Voyuers and 5’s solo releases.
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is every bit as intense as Hellbilly Deluxe, Zombie’s debut album as a solo artist, and incorporates the horror movie themes found on previous releases. The inclusion of Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band is a real treat. It’s great hearing the classic 70’s Rock Anthem updated with a heavy metal vibe. Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole) has just enough of an industrial metal sound and, coupled with the heavy metal aspect, proves that Zombie is far from finished making music. Piggyd’s bombastic bass chords during Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga and White Trash Freaks mesh perfectly with the thunderous beats that Ginger Fish has become known for. Gravelly vocals from Zombie flow evenly through out every track on the album and crash hard against John5’s pummeling chords. The entire album is full of catchy hooks. Lucifer Rising and Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown are the kind of music that, if you close your eyes, you can see Zombie strutting across the stage while singing and John5 twirling like a mad man during the guitar solos. Each track has the energy to stand on it’s own but it’s listening to the album as a whole that takes the listeners experience to a new level.
I do have high expectations for anything piece of art that Rob Zombie creates though, whether it’s music, film or print and VRRV doesn’t disappoint and in fact exceeds every expectation I had. White Zombie was the first band I’d ever seen live, all the way back in 1994 and it was White Zombie’s intense live show that cemented my appeal to the heavy metal genre. I think back to that show now an the visuals are just as vivid as the music. I can still see the crucified clowns being lowered from the ceiling as the band shredded through Soul Crusher. Those visuals have carried over to Zombie’s solo release tours. If the band tours close to you, go see them. It’s truely a religious experience to see Zombie live. I can’t wait for the chance to hear these tracks played live. It’ll be a sad day for music when Zombie puts away the face paint and silences his microphone forever.

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