1995, Music

Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head (1995) by White Zombie

Like so many albums, I am coming to this backwards: I’ve heard a Rob Zombie solo album before listening to this. It’s possible that this colours my experience of this record and will make my review unfair. It’s also possible that I just don’t like what Rob Zombie does nor what his band does, whether they do it in 1995 or 1998.

There’s something about the cooption of metal in the ’90s that I mostly don’t like. (Essentially making metal sounds more palatable by mixing them with more accessible genres.) I like when it was mixed with punk and psychedelia, because I like punk and psychedelia. But I don’t like when metal is mixed with dance music because I don’t like dance music. And I don’t like when metal is mixed with pop rock and mainstream hardrock. And I don’t like whatever they are doing here, which seems to be taking groove metal and making it more accessible by mixing it with pop industrial and the horror aesthetic of psychobilly. My immediate reaction is, “like what was wrong with groove metal?”

I guess their sound is unique, maybe even innovative, if groove metal bores you, or if it was too metal for you, or if you think what the genre really needs is quotes from movies. But it’s ultimately less “metal” then groove metal was originally. And listen: I am not genre purist. I like genre mixing. I just like when it works for me. And I don’t know that this does.

One problem is that I don’t find the songs catchy. I may not like Rob Zombie solo but his songs are catchier. (Well, they’re poppier which makes them catchier.) Even the one song I know through a Richard Cheese cover doesn’t really make an impression on me. And if you don’t have the riffs and you don’t have the volume, I guess all you have is the unique aesthetic, right?

But it is a unique aesthetic. And to use a contemporary phrase, who am I to yuk your yum? If this does it for you, by all means, listen to it.

I don’t get it myself.


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