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Dance Zombie - 15%

McTague97, December 30th, 2014

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.