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White Zombie's swansong - 90%

I_Am_Legend, August 16th, 2005

Anyone in the 19-24 age group will definitely remember a time when you couldn't walk down the Middle School/High school without at least seeing someone wearing an Asto Creep 2000 t-shirt with one of Rob Zombie's twisted artwork on it...It almost brings a tear to my eye remembering the days of memories past. Lord knows, I remember myself proudly showing-off my old White Zombie t-shirt at Middle School.

White Zombie had everything going for them. They were a band that pretty much threw the whole Horror Movie/50's Dragster magazine/tattoo-parlor-come-to-life image in everyone's face, and guess what? Everyone loved it! I know I sure did. Already being obsessed with both Horror/Sci-Fi movies and Heavy Metal at a young age, White Zombie was pretty much the ultimate combo for me to devour up."More Human than Human" did not help drive "Astro Creep:2000" to double platinum status (I'm pretty sure it's gone at least triple since then) all on its own. White Zombie was just a kooky camp of kids that lived for cheap thrills, horror movies(you're going to hear a lot of this in the review), and whatnots. Their music was a genius combo of Sludge Metal, Doom, some semi-Thrash influences with a flavor of Disco's up-beat Pop sensibilities. Add into the factor of the most brilliant(and sometimes heavy) usage of Sci-Fi and Horror movie audio samples and you definitely have a new Frankenstein-like monster brings a new definition to the saying 'WHAM! BAM! Thank-you mam!'

Rob Zombie was at the top of his game as far as writing lyrics and arranging the music to fit his voice(he lost this with his sub-par solo material, which disappointed me as a long-time WZ fan). He knows his limits and doesn't see the usage to over-step those boundaries. Next to Rob's genius is bassist Sean Yseult. Any male fan of White Zombie knows how much of a mythical goddess Sean Yseult, golden curly locks and all, was in our early days of puberty, but none the less a rather excellent bassist and laying down a thick wall of extra 'crunch' to WZ's sound. Drummer John Tempesta(of ex-Testament fame for us Metal heads) and guitarist Jay Noel Yuenger also in turn throw in their bit of the help in helping "Astro Creep:2000" become one helluva album. Must I not forget the Horror/Sci-Fi movie samples? If I did I would be missing-out on a huge part of "AC2K". The samples were just brilliant in giving is that fun edge to it, in that you can easily take this as a good party album and nobody would notice the difference.

"Astro Creep:2000"'s track list is like a Halloween mixed bag of treats for us. Few of them the average music fan knows, or has heard on the radio, the instant classic that is adored by everyone. Some are our personal favorites, and then there are the couples that stick-out but later grow on us over time.

1. Electric Head Prt.1 (The Agony) - Starts out with a warped old movie sample, going into some reverse organ piano playing and then some doomy-sounds before hitting that main sludge-like verse riff that just gets you into the head banging spirit.

2. Super-Charger Heaven - OH YES! This is definitely a Hot Rod racing anthem. I can just imagine racing a rust-covered, Army olive green 69' GTO with 450 HP engine, pumping-out green flames from the exhaust. Definitely faster in the sense of adding a dash of 50's Rockabilly tones to it. The little Latin rite of excommunication-sample before the last verse is a little tweak that will have you screaming "Devil Man running in my head!" all day long.

3. Real Solution #9 - "And I remember her saying I'm already dead!" Ooooooo! How creepy! Definitely laying-down the mood for this track in a slowed down mid-tempo song. It's almost on automatic and the lyric "Who will survive and what will be left of them?" taken from the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie poster.

4. Creature of the Wheel - Ugh! Sludge, and more sludge! More or less a continuation of "Real Solution #9" but even ten times more heavy. Definately a headbanger. If thouest does not commence violent headbanging, then you sir are an idiot. Adding to the weirdness is the continuation of Rob's infatuation of the 70's Charles Heston cult classic "The Omega Man"(the first hint was on "La Sexorcisto" with the song "I Am Legend") complete with samples taken from the movie itself.

5. Electric Head Pt. 2 (The Ecstasy) - "I just said 'Up yours baby". With an intro like that, it brings up into the stomp-heavy riff fest of the second part of the 'Electric Head' duo. Not as fast as the first, but still does the job in making one want to head bang. Not bad for a song with samples taken from the flick "Shaft" (The original for the slow ones).

6. Grease Paint And Monkey Brains - Oh man. I don't care what was creepier before this song, but that twisted Circus carnival noise just does it for me. Nothing is as scary sounding as Carnival noise. This one is a snoozer with Rob's whispering but picks-up with a trippy-sounding guitar solo. Samples taken from everyone's favorite zombie movie "Dawn Of The Dead"...the last 30 seconds or so has the only headbanging-worthy riff, but worth the wait.

7. I Zombie - Starts off with a church choir quickly turned into horrifying female screaming then BAM! Downward-spiraling chainsaw guitars and Rob's voice even more downward descending. A great wake-up after the snooze-fest of 'Grease Paint and Monkey Brains'

8. More Human Than Human - As I said previously "Astro Creep:2000" did not exactly go double-platinum on its own. The infamous MTV Buzz Clip(god I'm really showing my age now) helped make this song probably the most recognizable singles from the 90's, amidst the rest of the mainstream crud (remember, this was released a year after Kurt Cobain bit the bullet) that was going on. A funky-little bass line by Sean Yseult, some techno influence and Rob's rap-like Disco edge made this song a fun anthem for the Replicants from the movie 'Blade Runner'(Watch the movie and you'll find out what I mean)...A lot better than most of the shit that was being thrown around during those bleak years for Metal.

9. El Phantasmo & the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama - What a killer song title! I must admit whenever I bought my first copy back in '95, I just remember looking at that particular song title and thinking "Now that's the key to selling albums...great songs titles". This song while having a good riff at the beginning quickly turns into one of the more groove-style down tuning (probably a drop-C)...the song continues with really creepy Horror Movie samples that sound like they came from the 'Night of The Living Dead' or a really obscure 70's Grindhouse flick.

10. Blur the Technicolor - Oh yes! Definitely my favorite. The intro has some interesting tribal samples(could have easily came from 'Cannibal Holocaust'...Rob has expressed quite a love that that movie). The groove riffs really exceed where they sounded limited in the previous song, plus with a more warped sound to them and not to forget Rob's excellent showcase of quasi-hard rhyming.

11. Blood Milk and Sky - Back into the sludge we are! Starts off with an Indian chant played backwards, this song is given a dream-like atmosphere. Rob just gargles, mutters, and deeply moans the lyrics...really brooding and drone-like. There are some really nice female sing-along vocals during the chorus that just make it even more mysterious.

And there you have it. For those who missed out on it whenever it was first released...shame on you. Shame, shame, FOR SHAME on you poor pitiful souls. You have not lived, until you have experienced 'Astro Creep:2000'. By far one of the most entertaining and original Mainstream Metal albums of the 90's. And to those who are too 'kvlt' enough for this...pull your heads out of your asses. This album deserves to be in every music collection.