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I've Always Liked This - 86%

DawnoftheShred, December 1st, 2006

I know I shouldn't. Ever since I first started listening to real metal, I learned to despise industrial music for the overrated scenester horseshit that it was. I soon discovered that groove metal was far more contrived and banal than it first appeared, and l learned to distrust those bands as well. But for some reason I fucking love Astro Creep 2000, an album that fuses industrial elements to groove metal, with lots of psychedelic and horror influences. Perhaps its beauty lies in its absolute insanity, but for whatever reason, I find it cool as shit.

White Zombie is often discarded as industrial bullshit metal, but this is actually their only album with notable industrial influences, unlike Rob Zombie's future solo endeavors. These influences, while obvious, aren't really as obnoxious as they're made out to be, generally manifesting themselves in effects, samples and some of the drum beats. The only song that is predominately industrial is "More Human than Human." Otherwise, their presence is pretty much negligible. As for groove metal influence, that's a different story. Most of the metal riffs here are groove riffs, excepting a few psuedo-thrash riffs and a couple doom riffs. If you can't handle groove metal at all, you'll hate this with a passion. If you can, well, this album is ripe with some of the coolest shit around.

Aside from the previoius album's "Thunder Kiss '65," this album pretty much has all the best Zombie songs. "More Human than Human" was the big hit, and it's pretty sweet for being techno-esque. The first half of the album is somewhat weaker, but picks up at track six and doesn't look back. "Grease Paint and Monkey Brains" is evil and creepy, with a great intro and cool vocals. I personally like Rob Zombie's singing, despite the lyrics, which I'll get to in a moment. He has a rough, distinctive voice and really makes the songs come across darker. "I, Zombie" and "El Phantasmo" are the faster numbers, with some seriously heavy riffing, at least as far as this band is concerned. "Blur the Technicolor" features one of THE coolest groove riffs ever (again, this only applies if you enjoy the occasional groove riff, as I do). The last track is slow and sinister and a fitting closer. I like every song on this release. The guitar work isn't mind-blowing, but it's heavy and fitting. Even some of the drumming is really good. Solid metal, even if it's not true.

I know Rob Zombie's lyrics are not meant to be taken seriously. I know they're supposed to be fun, catchy tributes to horror films and pure insanity. But for the love of sweet Satan, I'd like to hear him write a song where the word "Yeah!" isn't an integral part of the composition. I'm sure he has songs where it isn't used, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that most of the songs on this album and all his other albums use the word frequently, especially in the chorus. Hell, the prechorus to "More Human than Human" is just "Yeah!" a shitload of times.

The rest of the lyrics aren't much better. The fucking Rob Zombie Lyric Generator would be the easiest program to write ever. First you throw together a bunch of loosely coherent phrases/sentences full of nouns like "demon," "zombie," "devil," and "motherfucker," preferably in the first person. Use verbs like "kill," "fuck," and the more basic action ones to tie the nouns together. Feel free to embellish with as many adjectives as want, especially if they aren't real words, ie. "Psychoholic." Sort of sing these in a menacing tone, incorporating "Yeah!" at your slightest whim, and you've got yourself a song comparable to anything Rob Zombie has ever written.

But even the lyrically repetitiveness can be forgiven if you don't take this album too seriously. It's meant to be a fun romp through B-horror flicks; a stereophonic experience if you will. It's pretty much his best album, beating out most of the White Zombie records and destroying his solo stuff. Keep an open mind, and you'll find this album to be far more rewarding than you'd ever want it to be.