|Rob Zombie - 'Mondo Sex Head' (Spinefarm Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Friday, 10 August 2012 04:30|
Ah yes, the remix album: notorious filler (in many senses of the word) of CD shelves, obligatory contract fulfilling release, and clogger of airwaves that could, and should, be full of essential new music.
Rob Zombie has been here before, of course: his former band White Zombie's last album (coincidence?!) 1996's 'Supersexy Swingin' Sounds' appeared to be between albums filler but, with the benefit of hindsight, was surely just a way to keep a high profile around a band who weren't even speaking let alone writing and recording. In 1999 he followed the release of his debut solo album, 'Hellbilly Deluxe', a year earlier with another remixed opus, 'American Made Music To Strip By'.
So, between albums once again - and with a new movie, The Lords Of Salem, to complete and promote - Rob Zombie throws out new product in light of a major US and European jaunt alongside Marilyn Manson (dubbed the Twins Of Evil tour) in the form of the tried and tested remix album. Critics would imply that this attempt at blurring musical lines is as original as a modern Hollywood movie right about......here.
With the exception of Jonathan Davis of Korn's DJ alter-ego JDevil, this album is littered with artists who I would rarely, if ever, listen to. While that could be construed as both elitist and ignorant the simple fact is this: while RZ's music may well be deemed perfect material for the remix treatment (even if his sound has changed somewhat since the more industrial-tinged White Zombie years) I would not find myself listening to any of these DJs if they hadn't been selected to deconstruct a selection of back catalogue tunes from a favourite artist and his former band.
Zombie completist that I am, even I knew that the third long player of this ilk would be a bit of an endurance test to get through. Currently on my third virtual spin of 'Mondo Sex Head' I, admittedly, have been impressed at a spattering of great moments but, honestly, so much of this album simply passes the listener by: remember those extended remixes on vinyl twelve inches that only ever got played if you had a phone call and couldn't get to your stereo to turn the record over? Twenty year cycles, etc...
The 'moments', when they come, do stir something inside: JDevil's take on White Zombie classic 'Thunder Kiss '65' opens this album and, despite an opening that has me crossing myself and praying that this album ends really quickly, hits some spots and pushes some buttons. Document One's take on 'Let It All Bleed Out', while its subtle opening offers something special, quickly descends into the type of electronic-cursed affair that the likes of Pendulum would have churned out, rousing though it is. Das Kapital's 'Lords Of Salem' remix offers a couple of meaty moments, as does Kraddy's 'Superbeast'. The Bloody Beetroots' version of 'Burn' is another quasi-highlight.
Too many times though do seminal tunes get diluted into pale versions of their former, excellent, selves: if you ever wanted monstrous songs like 'Dragula' and 'More Human Than Human' transformed into background muzak then....well....dreams do come true.
This album could work if you're listening to it while ingesting mind-altering hallucinogenics, if you're a teenager making out with a girl/boy and dare not move to change the music lest the spell betwixt your bodies be forever broken, or if you're a massive Rob Zombie fan who will lie to protect the honour of their hero by claiming that 'Mondo Sex Head' is an essential, or even worthy, purchase.
The third time is a twist too far for a Zombie remix album, I fear. As big a fan as I am, this long player will struggle to ever get another airing on my boombox.
The only thing you have to fear from a zombie is its bite: this one is particularly toothless.
To pick up a copy of 'Mondo Sex Head' - CLICK HERE