In my review of The Lords of Salem, I said I was a big fan of Rob Zombie. I didn’t just mean as a filmmaker though, he also does some fantastic music. ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’ is Rob Zombie’s 5th studio album, but does it share the same mixed feelings I had with his 5th movie? Thankfully, it’s a joy to listen to.
All of this previous work as a musician is fantastic. Most of his songs have a very visual feeling to them, almost as if they each could be a short movie of their own. That’s what I find to be very unique about Rob Zombie, and it’s something that was very prominent in his previous album ‘Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool’ (I kid you not, that’s what his previous album was called, it is simply shortened to ‘Hellbilly Deluxe 2’ though). ‘Hellbilly Deluxe 2’ was my favourite Rob Zombie album to date, with fantastic songs and a great return to form after the average ‘Educated Horses’.
So where do I stand with his latest work? Is it my new favourite album? No quite. There are some great songs on the album, but the quality doesn’t quite match that of ‘Hellbilly Deluxe 2’. I have no idea why, because there are no bad songs on the album and everything is great to listen to. I really wish I could pull something out of the hat and say that this is the reason why it’s not as good, but nothing comes to mind.
The only problem I can come up with is that the opening song to the album lacks the feeling of an epic build up to what your about to listen to. Earlier Rob Zombie albums had a short build up that would lead into the second track beautifully. ‘Hellbilly Deluxe 2’ perfected this by making it all one song with ‘Jesus Frankenstein’, one of my all time favourite songs of his. In ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’, the opening song fails to capture that good old Rob Zombie opener. Called ‘Teenage Nosferatu Pussy’, it’s a great song, but as mentioned it really does fall short when compared to previous album openers.
As I’ve said, all songs on this album are great to listen to, but there are some real standouts for me. First up is his first single from the album ‘Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown’. Being the second track on the album, I really wish this was the opener, it’s a fantastic song. It is really upbeat, with awesome guitar riffs throughout, as well as a thumping drum beat that get’s your foot tapping. Another is ‘Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga’, this is quite similar to the previously mentioned song in terms of style, but the chorus is just a lot of fun to sing along to.
The last song worth a mention is ‘We’re An American Band’. I believe this to be Rob Zombie’s second single release from the album, though a rumour is a rumour. This song is a little straight forward in terms of style, but actually reminds me of some of the work of KISS. The style, the way the guitar sounds and a catchy, sing along chorus, scream KISS. So if you’re a fan of KISS, then this is a song for you.
Now Rob Zombie had stated in an interview that he wrote ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’, in such a visual style, to one day maybe adapt it to a full feature-length movie. That definitely translates, like a lot of his previous work, most songs here tell such a story that they could each be made into a short film or moulded together into a full movie.
Now, I like this album quite a bit. It may not be his best work, but it’s more of the same and that’s never a bad thing. So, if you may be thinking of picking this album up, don’t expect it to become your new favourite anytime soon. It does have the potential to though, and the songs on the album certainly help with that. This is my first music review, so I hope it’s been easy to read and I hope to have helped with your decision on if to pick it up or not.
7 Ging Gang Gong’s out of 10