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An ode to sleaze - 97%

DoctorX, July 12th, 2005

For lack of a better obscenity, his album fuckin' rocks. It is the main reason really I miss these guys. Sure, Rob Zombie has his movies and his techno metal solo albums, but they only hold passing novelty, containing not even 1/10th of the intensity displayed here. These tracks are unbelievably vicious third generation thrash from a band that knows how to play, and play HARD. It's sharp, it's smart, and damned funny.

With White Zombie, there are no songs about demons, or devils, or nuclear annihilation. They lusted not for the glamor of classic metal lyrical cliches, but rather pure pathetic crap. Rob snarls about monster truck rallies, professional wrestling, bad horror flicks, and cheap porno. These were the elements of daily life for people like Beavis and Butthead, and the snarky sense of humor made the band popular with cynical hipsters in the post-Nirvana era.

A well kept secret, is that in a punk-obsessed, post-metal pop culture, White Zombie could really play. They didn't put on mathematical virtuoso displays like Megadeth or Iron Maiden, but the skill was thick as a slab of concrete, and obvious if you paid attention. Jay Yuenger was a shredhead like no other, displaying a weird blend of Slayer and Trouble, set in layer upon layer of multiple tracks. Ivan DePrume was the ideal groovemonster for this mutant. Though it was his last album with the band, and he was replaced by a drummer with more impressive credentials (John Tempestra), DePrume seemed to fit into the band's rhythms in natural lockstep, without ever sacrificing taste or feel. Then there was Sean Yesseult. One of the few prominent female figures in metal, Sean amusingly helped Rob found the band because she was a fellow art Student with Rob at a southern California university, and because she was his girlfriend. She had never picked up a bass before the Voodoo Moon EP, but had clearly earned her keep by this time. Black Sunshine is the most obvious example of her talents, which were well above par for one of the more neglected instruments in metal. Sean has also displayed the most interesting career of all former Zombie members, escaping the lackluster supergroup Famous Monsters, in order to found Rock City Morgue. It is her current band which most resembles the original incarnation of White Zombie, a sleazy post-punk outfit, full of morbid fascinations. The trailblazing work she was once part of has given way to the basic concepts she began with.

In all fairness, White Zombie weren't alone in creating groove-based, danceable thrash. Pantera had already begun the trend with Cowboys From Hell, while Helmet and Prong were not far behind. Within the next two years, Sepultura hopped on the bandwagon with Chaos AD, and Machine Head released Burn My Eyes. This album just happens to be one of the first and best from the last wave of thrash metal. The techniques, sound, style and aesthetics of White Zombie had a profound effect on the budding nu metal scene, and helped launch Rob Zombie's more famous (but less innovative) solo career. La Sexorcisto was the moment of glory.