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Psychoholic Headtrip Extravaganza! - 92%

psychoticnicholai, June 24th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Geffen Records

Now this, this I like. White Zombie's last proper full-length is loud, groovy, destructive, and distorted with all manner of techniques. Astro Creep is one filthy motherfucker of an album that showed some of the heaviest stuff to get major success in the 90s. Saturated in pedal effects, catchy, fun, weird, and ready to put a boot to your ass are the sort of descriptors I'd use for this album. White Zombie already had a slant towards the abnormal since Sexorcisto that they kicked into overdrive on Astro Creep with a new half-industrial style with a heavy psychedelic tint that much more fits their insane lyrics and more fun-loving persona, compared to the usual throng of angry, combative groove metal bands. Astro Creep is one of those albums that smacks you upside the head and captures you with its mix of warped riffs and bombastic attitude.

Astro Creep is unique and strong in its usage of distortion and mixing it with catchy riffs and a hard, driving pulse that keeps the songs crunchy and active at a mid-to-high tempo. Jay Yuenger delivers meaty riff upon meaty riff drenched in reverb, phasers, wah-pedals, and industrial effects that have a crushing, but also very liquid sound to them. He also uses a lot of bent and stretched notes to give a more warped sound. The usage of crunchy production, and hallucinogenic samples also helps give the songs on here a very sludgy texture which adds all the more density to the wild, swaggering grooves on offer here. Rob Zombie's voice is a one-of-a-kind filthy snarl that sounds fun in a monstrous way, bellowing with all his might. Everything sounds thick and gritty, just covered in grime like a swamp monster, and with the same kind of impact as that swamp monster stomping a police car into the mud. The hallucinogenic quality of the samples, effect pedals, and Zombie's voice, plus the fast pace and warped grooves make Astro Creep one of the stranger and more energetic groove metal albums.

Everything composed for this album runs the gamut of thundering groove stompers, warped chunky distorted driver's chargers, and trippy, almost funky industrial pounders. The best tracks on Astro Creep are the ones that make the best use of its strengths, those being the driving pace, warped sound, catchiness, and most active grooves and riffs. "Real Solution #9" and "Blood, Milk and Sky" show off the biggest industrial influence with their heavy usage of samples, trudging beats, and acidic atmosphere. "Electric Head Part 1", "Blur the Technicolor" and "Super-Charger Heaven" go for a thrashier pace and blast by with catchy choruses and intense riffs backed up by caustic distortion to truly emphasize the grooves. There's also a real banger with "More Human than Human" which has a pulsing beat, a funky rhythm, and an agile semi-rapped flow and delivery from Rob Zombie, all while being as warped and catchy as can be. These represent the kinds of songs on offer, as Astro Creep displays diverse songs while staying consistent in their signature style of psyched-out groove metal. The other songs are nothing to sleep on either, as they all contain some combination of these styles and resonate like an explosive acid trip.

Groove metal on acid is what style I'd say describes Astro Creep, and perhaps that's why I like this so much. It emphasizes what people look for with this subgenre the most, the grooves. It spruced them up by varying the tempo a lot and by piling on a heavy amount of grimy distortion and psychedelia all while keeping the songs memorable and badass with plenty of muddy riffage. The abundance of memorable bangers on this album makes it hard to ignore and hard to deny its strength. Astro Creep is a classic of its time that glows bright like comic book radiation in the moonlight with its rare and mighty mixture of chunky grooves, smack-talking swagger, and industrial psychedelia that few have ever dared to re-create.