Album Review – Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2 / New Fusion Sonica Episode

Yesterday I gave you a review of White Wizzard’s Over The Top, today I bring you a review of Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2.

I´ll admit that I´m not the world´s biggest Rob Zombie fan, and when I heard that he named his new album Hellbilly Deluxe 2, I became skeptical like a lot of you. A lot of sequels, just plain suck, but I saw the pre-order come up on iTunes, and figured, hell he´s always good for about four decent songs (minimum) on his albums, so why not? As I result, I pulled the trigger and ordered the album. I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised with the album once it became available.

Now Rob isn´t reinventing anything here, and you know what who cares? Will someone that´s waiting for the Triptikon album to come out enjoy this? Probably not, because it´s more than likely not “metal” enough for them. But I don´t think he´s trying to go after that market, and there´s nothing wrong with that. You usually know what to expect from Rob, and it´s almost always a little weird, a little strange, has a dash of sex, mixed in with a horror or outer space theme, hella fun and very entertaining when it´s on. The music isn´t overly complex, it´s pretty straight forward, and focused, something that hasn´t happened on a Rob Zombie album in a while.
The album starts out with “Jesus Frankenstein”, which sounds like a track that could have made its way onto an old White Zombie album. Then all of a sudden, this acoustic part hits you courtesy of John 5 (will Marilyn Manson ever cop to the fact that he never should have fired him?). Jimmy Clufetos drum track on this song is very raw, as it is throughout an entire album, which also features a drum solo in a latter track. The current single “Sick Bubblegum” is up next, with a traditional chugging guitar/bass riff reminiscent of so many other previous Zombie songs. “What?” is the single that was initially released on iTunes before the pre-order was made available, another catchy tune where Rob applies a distortion effect on his voice. Accompanying them on this track is an organ apropos of a classic horror flick. The next track “Mars Needs Woman”…angry red woman, starts out with an acoustic riff well suited for an episode of Deadwood. Then all of a sudden Zombie jumps in with Clufetos, and John 5 follows suit with the type of playing we´re accustomed hearing from him. Mr. Lowry gives us a mix of chords with a shrieking note over top that sounds as if he´s using a Whammy pedal, but knowing this six string genius, it´s probably something completely different. “Werewolf, Baby” starts out with some classic southern rock riffage (more classic John 5), before Zombie comes in clearly showing off his Alice Cooper influence, before kicking it up a registry for the song´s chorus. The chorus is constructed with a melody that´s difficult to get out of your head (this has been a common theme with releases over the past few months, seems like hooks and melody are back). Did someone say sex and horror? “Virgin Witch” is up next, it is another track that is very reminiscent of his earlier White Zombie work. It is the first track on the album that displays Zombie´s love of overlapping various sounds to create a pallet that is distinctly his. “Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory” is a quick little Ramones like tune, that has classic Zombie vocals doubled over top of this sololess song. “Burn” is a track that was made available a little while back as a free download. The best way that I can describe the song is as a mix between old White Zombie, “Thunderkiss” and some Joey Ramone type singing over top of the chorus, with the uh-huh-uh-uh-huh, etc. part. Another track that easily gets stuck in your head. “Cease to Exist” starts out with some Sabbath inspired riffing courtesy of John 5, it is the first song that has an abundant amount of sampling going on over top. Zombie´s vocals are also Ozzyesque on this track, further displaying the Sabbath influence in the track. “Werewolf Woman of the SS” is based on a fake trailer he made for the movie Grindhouse. The clip featured who else, but Rob´s wife Sheri Moon Zombie, if you´re a fan of his, you´re no stranger to her. Another classic Zombie track in the vein of “Superbeast”. “The Man Who Laughs” starts out with horror stylings that come courtesy of a string section. John 5 kicks in with a quick little solo ditty before Clufetos kicks in with, as mentioned above a drum solo! The solo lasts a few good minutes before John 5 and bassist Piggie D, and the string section kick things back into gear before wrapping up the song and album. If you bought the deluxe edition off of iTunes you´ll also receive three mostly forgettable remixes of “What?”, “Jesus Frankenstein”, and “Sick Bubblegum”. I don´t mind remixes, Rob´s put out plenty of good ones in the past, these just aren´t my cup of tea.

If you´re a long time fan of Rob Zombie, this album will be right up your valley. For those of you that don´t know any of his material, and don´t want a greatest hits, this might be a good introduction to the world of Rob Zombie. If you just want to kick back, and listen to some entertaining music while in the car or while kicking back some cold ones, this could be your album of choice!