Rob Zombie’s music, at its best, conjures images of a carnival midway bathed in black light and neon, with go-go dancers on platforms, Hammer horror movies playing on drive-in sized screens, fucked up side-show oddities, and thrill rides that have just a little element of danger to them. Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is Rob Zombie at his best. I’m not prepared to call it better than Hellbilly Deluxe, but it is a damn good album and will hold a valued place in any Zombie fan’s collection.
When my son was 5 years old, I took him to see Rob Zombie at The Rave in Milwaukee. Zombie was supporting his Educated Horses album at the time, and frankly, I found that album a bit disappointing. It just didn’t capture the “fun” I usually felt when listening to RZ. Hellbilly Deluxe 2 felt closer to a return to form, but VRRV finds Rob Zombie back where I love him.
From the moment VRRV started playing, I was grinning from ear to ear. I could tell Rob was having fun too. From the song titles, to the album art, to the music itself, this album is a deranged joy. I can also tell you that strippers across the country are going to have several new songs to add to their repertoire: from the strutting, grinding power of “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” to the best titled song ever, “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” to the pulsating “Rock and Roll (in a Black Hole)”, this album had me ready to head to the nearest strip club.
To get an idea of how much fun Rob Zombie himself is having, you need only listen to “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown”. Musically, it’s different than anything I think I’ve heard from Rob Zombie and it is just wonderful. Incidentally, it has a stripper factor of 10 out of 10. But I think what really put me over the top was when I heard – wait for it – cowbell. Oh yeah, RZ proves he can cover a song like no one else when he performs “We’re an American Band”. Bruce Dickenson would be so proud.
If you’re a White Zombie fan, look no further than “Lucifer Rising” or “Behold, the Pretty Filthy Creatures!”, either of which could have fit right in on Astro Creep: 2000 or La Sexorcisto.
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is tied together with a number of audio clips from various horror movies (I love it when RZ does that) and some really spectacular percussion. It is not a long album, with only two of the 12 tracks clocking in over 4 minutes, but like any great thrill ride, the moment you get off, you want to ride it again.