April , 2013
Review by Vinny Cecolini
"Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor"
Nearly 30 years into Rob Zombie's professional career, the Renaissance man continues to be a creative enigma who rarely stands still. He writes and records music, does his own artwork, and for the fun of it, also writes, directs and produces music videos, commercials and films. Oh yes, he tours quite a bit as well.
As this director of many hats continues to hone his various crafts and refine his style, his true identity is unmistakable. Zombie is not merely a multitalented entertainer, but the P.T. Barnum of an insane, hellacious, psychedelic, modern-day carnival. This should come as no surprise as Zombie was actually raised in a traveling circus, but never before has he so perfectly captured his personality and identity in his music.
While recently speaking with the rock media, Zombie said his new album would be a nod to White Zombie and a jump into the future. And for once, an artist is on the mark. The outrageously titled Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, easily the best of Zombie's solo work, is not only comparable to White Zombie's classic La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, but also to classic '70s hard rock concept records.
Zombie also admitted that, though the disc is a concept album, its story will not be revealed until "a film version is released; if a film version is released." Sure, songs such as the infectious "Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown," "Teenage Nosferatu Pussy" and "Trade in Your Guns for a Coffin" boast trademark Zombie titles, but I challenge listeners to decipher the story connecting them. Another Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor highlight - a heavy as hell, but surprisingly reverent, cover of Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" that will make you forget Kid Rock's karaoke version.
With this, Zombie's fifth solo outing, the metallic boogie demon finally proves he is not Alice Cooper's understudy, but is a macabre genius that lives both in the past and the future who refuses to be tethered to the present.