Rob Zombie gets brutal with fourth record

By Justin Park

Rob Zombie gets downright brutal on “Hellbilly Deluxe 2,” his
fourth solo album and official companion to his 1998 debut
“Hellbilly Deluxe.”

Following his disastrous stint as the director of the new
“Halloween” films, the ex-White Zombie vocalist returns to the
recording studio to pump out his most anarchic album to date.

Whereas his debut and 2001’s “The Sinister Urge” were marked by
industrial soundscapes, Zombie’s crew strips the musicianship down
to the raw rock ‘n’ roll essentials of guitar, bass and drums,
continuing the lo-fi trend that began with 2006’s “Educated

A point of contention among White Zombie diehards lies within
the fact that Zombie shunned his groove metal past in favor of an
upstart solo career. As evidenced by his directorial gig, Zombie
enjoys collaborating with a revolving cast of characters, which
allows him to avoid creative stagnancy when producing music.

“Sick Bubblegum” runs high on the explosive chemistry between
drummer Tommy Clufetos and former Marilyn Manson guitarist John

Having established his craft with Manson on 2000’s “Holy Wood
(In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)” and 2003’s “The Golden Age
of Grotesque,” John 5 is undoubtedly the shining star of “Hellbilly
Deluxe 2.”

John 5’s searing guitar tone on songs such as “Jesus
Frankenstein” and “What?” interjects a maniacal fervor into the
proceedings, the likes of which Zombie has not encountered since
working alongside Jay Yuenger in White Zombie.

Despite the horror connotations the band members have garnered
throughout the years, “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” showcases an
effervescent side of their personalities, particularly their
unrequited love of pop music.

Zombie and John 5 pay tribute to their childhood heroes of the
1960s and the 1970s, some of which may come as a surprise to their
most ardent fans who assumed that the band’s diet consisted
entirely of Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath.

The chorus of “Werewolf, Baby!” is heavily derived from T. Rex’s
1971 glam rock classic “Get It On,” almost to the point of melodic

John 5 channels surf rock legend Dick Dale for his solo in
“Werewolf Women of the SS,” whose rendition of “Misirlou” serves as
the primary inspiration.

A Zombie record would not be complete without misfires and
“Hellbilly Deluxe 2” is no exception to the rule, the most notable
of which are the ridiculously inane lyrics.

“Mars needs women, angry red women,” Zombie growls on “Mars
Needs Women,” whose blatant apathy is surpassed only by Crash Test
Dummies’ “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.”

Unlike previous albums where hit singles such as “Dragula” and
“Feel So Numb” managed to lure in the skeptical masses, “Hellbilly
Deluxe 2” is devoid of radio-friendly material and will likely be
relegated to obscurity due to its esoteric nature.

However, Zombie has never been one to succumb to the interests
of the mainstream public nor does he care to involve himself in an
industry where factory-produced acts such as Ke$ha and Lady Gaga
reign supreme.

For those looking to have their faces melted off and eardrums
blown to smithereens, Zombie’s “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” is guaranteed
to get the blood boiling and the head banging.

Final rating: 3 out of 4 stars

Reach Justin Park at:

Rob Zombie gets brutal with fourth record

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Rob Zombie gets brutal with fourth record

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