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Before adopting the techno-metal attire that would come to suit them fairly well in the 90's, White Zombie were a noisier, simpler, punkier incarnation of their future selves. Noisy, psychedelic, alternative rock is admittedly not a favorite subgenre of mine, but there's a certain charm to the..."performance" that makes this unique and surprisingly listenable. Had this been released in '89, Zombie would have been shrugged off as another shitty trendwhore product of the grunge movement and would have remained unnoticed, but in 1985, at the height of the thrash movement, this style was clearly their intention from day one.
Just as his later albums would be hard to classify and describe, so is his debut. The spirit is punk, the point is horror, the riffing is surf, and somewhere in this chaos is the shades of actual metal. Some of the guitar parts would actually be borderline thrash riffs, if there was more than just an inkling of overdrive and not so many pedal effects (delay, flangers, the like). The bass provides a constant groove to complement the riffing and the schizophrenic semi-constant lead presence, all purposefully amateurish. Zombie's voice is catapaulted over all this, with a definite shriekiness unpresent in his later albums. In face, the style of this EP is so far removed from the major label albums that without proper initiation, this would seem like a completely different (and far shittier) band.
It may just be weird for weirdness' sake, but I like it. These guys were doing something different, clearly not caring whether anybody would even be able to stand their music or not. Though that stance isn't always admirable, White Zombie provided just enough substance to make it work.
For fans of stoner doom, psychedelic rock, or punk.
I think many people will listen to the pre-Geffen White Zombie expecting to hear the same kind of disco influenced groove thrash as can be found on la sexorcisto and astro creep. If that's what you expect you'll be dissappointed.
The eighties version of White Zombie is quite different. At this time the band was not trying to make the same style of music. This record, and really everything up to God of Thunder, is far more new-wave and no-wave influenced punk. The main inspirations behind this stuff seem to be bands like Nick Cave's Birthday Party and The Cramps. If you like those bands, then this release is definitely worth checking out, even if you just want to hear where Rob Zombie started his career.