In case you hadn’t heard, Rob Zombie will be releasing a new studio album this year and when looking up more information about it, I found a tidbit about his second record that intrigued me. Apparently, fans voted this record as his best on his website, which surprised me. Personally, I love his debut and I thought that would be every Zombie fan’s favorite, so I had to check out this record for myself. While I wouldn’t call it my favorite, it’s still an impressive record and probably Zombie’s most musically diverse.
As usual, Zombie has to set the creepy tone of the record by having an intro with weird music, odd movie samples, and trippy sounds. That’s what you get with “Sinners Inc.” What makes this one so interesting is that the music sounds like it comes from the movie Ed Wood. It could be due to the fact that the album is named after one of Wood’s movies. It’s a good introduction to the album, but not something to listen to regularly. Things pick up with “Demon Speeding,” a song with more of a heavy metal sound than previously found. It has all the standard Zombie elements found in his songs: creepy sounds, various samples, and several references to horror movies. But what makes this song different are the string instruments playing throughout. It’s unexpected, but it adds a creepy effect to the track that makes it sound like you’re trapped in a horror movie. This effect is found again on the track “Bring Her Down (To Cripple Town).”
“Dead Girl Superstar” is one of best songs here because it’s so damn energetic. This song gets you moving and shaking with its speed and adrenaline. It’s the type of song that gets you pumped. The pace and the psychedelic music placed throughout is reminiscent of White Zombie‘s sound. I have no idea what’s going on lyrically, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. Another song that has great energy and a great groove is “Never Gonna Stop (the red, red kroovy).” It’s still heavy like the other songs here, but it has a psychedelic groove that’s pretty standard for the singer. And as usual there are a lot of horror details and images in the lyrics. It’s another great song that gets you moving and when I say moving I mean dancing, which seems to be something Zombie likes to do a lot.
One of the most interesting and musically diverse songs on the record is “Iron Head.” There’s a slow groove going on and while it still has the hard rock sound, there are some elements of hip-hop thrown in that make for a unique sound. With the record scratching and the static vocal style almost makes this Zombie’s rap song. The song gets even better with a special appearance from the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. He does vocal duty with Rob during the chorus, which adds to the song and makes it more interesting. Something about the pairing of these two feels so right. It’s something that may have to grow on you, but it’s a great track either way and one of his most ambitious.
Another interesting song is “House of 1000 Corpses.” This seems to be the inspiration for Zombie’s first movie of the same name. It begins with what sounds like a chainsaw and someone screaming for their life. Then news reports come on speaking of disturbing scenes of murder and cannibalism. After that, the slow drawl of the music starts with this country like tone and feel. When you hear the guitar twang it makes you think of the dry, dusty desert. The gruesome lyrics like “I cut the flesh/And make it bleed/Fresh skin Is what I need” shows the perspective of a fresh kill from the murderer’s eyes. It’s the slowest song on the record and probably the creepiest. Maniacal, scary laughing often plays at random parts of the track putting you on edge and making you check over your shoulder.
As I mentioned before, this album finds Rob Zombie experimenting with different styles of music. Of course there’s the psychedelic, heavy metal aspect to the music, but songs like “(Go To) California” throw in a dash of hip-hop and a pinch of funk with the throbbing horns. He even returns to his older sound by using an electronic based sound for “Scum of the Earth.” Many of the songs also use string instruments to create a big, dramatic effect putting you in Zombie’s own horror movie. The singer has never been shy about playing around with different styles of music, but it’s good to see that he continued integrating different music genres into his solo work.
Overall, the album gets 8/10. Just like with his debut, the songs are great. They’ll either make you shake your ass and hide under the covers. He uses his classic elements of samples, spooky sounds, and horror references on these tracks, but he also plays around with different styles, such as hip-hop and funk. For some reason the debut seems superior than this effort, but it’s still a solid record. Maybe it’s because the first album had so many catchy songs on it. Either way, this is still an album Rob Zombie fans don’t want to miss out on.