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Oh, it would turn out White Zombie's last album was a remix album, that's a unique way to go out. Apparently though this was their last album because Rob Zombie decided he had 'different artistic ambitions' (he figured he'd make more money going solo, and he was probably right). As a band's last release this has a special place, will this be one last shining gem or will their career end with a flop? Look at the reviews here on metal archives and then recall how often you hear these on the radio compared to the two previous albums. It's a flop as far as fan opinion goes and its a flop as far as how long it lasts. I don't know how well it sold, but I imagine it didn't fare as well as their last work.
So exactly how did White Zombie come to release such a weak album? It's pretty simple really, they tried releasing an electronic album to a fan base of rockers and metalheads without really providing anyway to warm us up to the idea before hand. There are many successful industrial rock/metal acts Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Ministry, Rob Zombie's solo work etc. These groups all know their market. They know where the line is between loveable and despicable. White Zombie was a band with mild industrial influences who decided to jump head first into the metaphorical pool without knowing how to swim.
They can't decide if they want to appeal to the industrial metal scene or the electronic music crowd and they just don't know how to appeal to both and that right there kills it all. Not enough solid hard rock or metal backing to appeal to us here on metal archives and too much for our friends in dance clubs and at raves.
So what exactly do I mean by that? There are no original tracks here, you have heard the originals before and you probably would like them more. How closely these remixes stick to the original songs varies. They all have the same lyrics, but for a lot of them the similarities end there.
Everything comes down to four on the floor beats and other beats that desperately scream out to be played in a dance club. Even when they do keep the 'original drumming' its actually just the same drum work but done electronically. Even those parts that were originally played by a man behind a set sound disconnected from the original song, like some guy just tried getting a bit more 'rocky' on his drum machine or electronics. The human element behind the drums is just gone and it just feels wrong from front to back.
As is the case with many electronic forms of music the beat and the vocals are the bread and butter (sounds like rap music right?) Anything else is just little almonds, pecans or other little inclusions inside the butter. When they use the original guitar riffs they're used purely just to sound really cool. These riffs that once drove the song are now distorted and broken up to add that extra layer that is the electronic equivalent of catchy and fluffy melodic hooks. The whole thing is just ridden with synthesizers, whirring, whooping, beeping and other computer generated sounds that serve the same purpose.
The vocals are mostly like they were originally, sometimes they're hit with effects to make them sound like they're being sung underwater, to sound stereotypically demonic or to just make them sound digital. All in all it doesn't seem genuine.
This might still be a nice dance album for me to throw on whenever I want to go around clubbing or if I was chasing after a girl who likes to dance (I don't do either thing very often though) but the entire thing is just so disconnected, so unemotional. That idea we have of guys playing their chops collaborating with each other, maybe one does all the songwriting while all the others learn to play it and throw in occasional ideas. The concept of band's perfecting their craft and practicing until they can play it tightly. This idea of band members spending hours to play and write while they pour their effort and feelings into it. Its gone, those ideas are ripped to pieces and replaced by this image of a guy with a set of headphones and a laptop just generating little beats and cool sounds and layering them together until he feels like he's scored a club hit or something his girlfriend will drop her booty to. I don't mean to rip on electronic music saying it takes no talent, but that's the image this conjures up.
If you're a fan of techno, house, industrial, dubstep or any other electronic derivative I would highly recommend this, but if you want a genuine metal performance, or even a rock performance don't even spend the time to search for this online or go digging through a record store.
It's a real shame that the last White Zombie album would be this atrocity. A techno-remix album not only notorious for forshadowing Rob Zombie's future career, but quite shitty in its own right. If you can't stand techno, I'll save you the trouble of reading this review: you will absolutely hate this.
Just as he would go on to remix tracks from his first solo album on his American Made Music to Strip By release, this album simply consists of remixed tracks from Astro Creep, minus the song "Creature of the Wheel," which is replaced with a remix of "I'm Your Boogieman." The remixes are fairly true to the original songs in terms of structure and length (though the tempo is occasionally altered), but everything other than the basic mechanics is raped. Drums are replaced by uber-repetitive raver beats. Riffs are removed, replaced, and muddied down. Vocals are unbearably distorted. Pretty much everything good about Astro Creep is turned to generic techno bullshit. If you're into techno, you'll probably enjoy this experiment of Rob's. But as this is not the Techno Archives, the rest of us can only lament and wonder why the hell this was released by a seemingly metal band.
So to recap, this gets 10 points for the various pinups in the cover sleeve, 5 points for not sucking as hard as his next remix album would, and 1 bonus point because I'd still rather listen to this than to Graveyard Classics II again. Add in one point each for every song on here that is made better through remixing and this album's final score ends up at a meager 16. If I were a potential buyer, I'd stick with Astro Creep.
I really don't mind remix CDs all the time. Really, I don't. I enjoyed several Fear Factory remixes. But White Zombie utterly failed to put out a decent remix album. I don't really feel like I need to go on and on about this.. Suffice it to say, every track on this album blurs together to the poin tthat you put it on while doing something else, you'll try to block it out, and suddenly realize 30 minutes later you've progressed through the album more than you thought you had.
There's really only two worthwhile tracks on here, which is being nice about it. Those being the remix on More Human Than Human which is barely worth listening to.. But honestly, if you've got this, you've got to make excuses as to what's better than something else so that you feel like you made somewhat a worthwhile purchase. Although, then there's the remix on Grease Paint and Monkey Brains, which is actually a very enjoyable remix.. Somewhat laid back. Interesting? I don't know quite how to put it, but it's better than anything else on the album, giving it 10 points.. And 3 more for the More Human Than Human remix which I can deal with listening to. Everything else is uncreative remixes on otherwise good songs. If I want this kind of generic remixing, I'll go find an already generic nu-metal band's single featuring even more generic remixing by no-name artists. I was hopeful the remixes on this would be somewhat enjoyable, but I was wrong. This isn't worth purchasing. It's not even worth stealing.
Now someone explain to me what Rob's reasoning with this one is??? He remixes everything on Astro-creep so shitty that it makes me want to vomit. I can't believe that anyone who is related to metal would stoop to such a level. I mean, techno??? That's all this album is. If you've heard Astro-creep, imagine all those songs minus Creature Of The Wheel remixed to fit an almost rave-styled atmosphere. I don't think that there were any real instruments on the remixes. John Tempesta's kit would have to be electronic and lame at that to sound like the so-called drum beats on this album. There is a total lack of unsaturated techno sounding guitar on this album. Even Rob's vocals sound stupid (imagine that...) with the way he did everything up. The best thing about this music is that it is good for those who don't like heavy metal but like techno, it can be considered common ground.
The only reason I still own this album is because it's too scratched to get rid of, and until I fill my 200 disc changer, it'll be there, after I fill it, it's gone out the fucking window. The best part of buying this one would be for the incredibly sexy chicks pictured nude in the liner. You get no twat shots or tits, but you get everything but. If you're that desperate, pick it up, if not, put it back and tell the clerk "fuck you, i'm getting a real album".