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When White Zombie was signed to Geffen Records, they recorded and released their third album, La Sexorcisto and declared it as their debut. In the same way that Pantera erased most public knowledge of their pre-Cowboys from Hell glam/speed metal past once they were signed, White Zombie’s first two albums were left to rot out of print in the darkest corners of whichever used music shop was unlucky enough to receive them. Why would a band withhold music from their fans you ask? Just like Pantera, it would seem White Zombie had a past that they were quite ashamed of…
In the somewhat unlikely event that potential listeners have heard White Zombie’s earliest pre-album output, the sound of their lost debut will not come as a surprise. But coming off a steady diet of their well-known Geffen material, fans will be in for quite a shock. Raw, abrasive, punky, noisy: this is a far different band than the one that would put out some above average groove metal in the 90’s. The best description for the ten tracks of alternative terror that is Soul Crusher is “anti-catchy.” A handful of dissonant “riffs” blast forth, seemingly devoid of organization or progression, with scattered sounding drums, leads, and sampled sounds to create a towering wall of noise over which vocalist Rob “Zombie” Cummings hurls his infernal screeching. And even when his lyrical spouts are discernable, they’re always incomprehensible psychedelia. It’s like one grating, trippy ride on an inverted rollercoaster through a swampy marsh. If there’s an audience for this sort of thing, I’d like to meet them.
All of the songs channel the same rebellious monotony, smashing through your sound system with a dissonant fist and riding on their own momentum (which is in itself a paradox, as the “music” is paper-thin) until their respective conclusions, most of which are abrupt. I found myself kind of digging the weightier numbers, such as “Drowning the Colossus” and “Truck on Fire,” but they aren’t really any different than the others.
Supposedly this is quite a sought after album among fans due to its rarity. I say let them have it, as the trouble spent tracking it down far outweighs its value. Only recommended if you’re really curious about the 80’s White Zombie sound or if you like atonal, off-key, noisy psychedelic pap.
Originally written for http://www.metal-observer.com