Album review: Rob Zombie, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 (2010)


By Steve Newton

On Hellbilly Deluxe 2, hard-rocking horror auteur Rob Zombie combines his love of low-budget fright flicks and grinding metal the same way he did on his debut solo album, 1998’s Hellbilly Deluxe.

Well, not quite the same way.

While his first post-White Zombie release featured catchy tracks like “Dragula” and “Living Dead Girl”, this latest batch of tunes is fairly lacking in memorable licks and hooks. And it doesn’t help that he still can’t sing worth beans.

As a song title, “Mars Needs Women” is enough to brighten the heart of any B-movie fanatic, but the tune itself is bogged down by ponderous power chords and a tedious chorus. And it seems as if the only reason Zombie wrote “Sick Bubble Gum” was so he could repeatedly chant “Rock motherfucker, rock the motherfucker, rock motherfucker yeah.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Zombieman scores points for including a song called “Werewolf Women of the SS”, which was also the title of the fake-movie trailer he made for the “intermission” during Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation double-bill of 2007, Grindhouse. It boasts a Dick Dale-type surf-gone-wild guitar solo similar to that on Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction hit, “Miserlou”, but such exhilarating moments are rare on HD2, which ends on a decidedly lame note with “The Man Who Laughs”, incorporating a schlocky string arrangement and, for no good reason, a four-minute drum solo.

On the bright side, the 24-page, Zombie art-directed CD booklet sports enough images of monsters, robots, depraved-looking Devil’s Rejects-type freaks—as portrayed by Zombie’s accommodating bandmates John 5, Piggy D, and Tommy C—and scantily clad cartoon hotties-in-peril to keep any self-respecting sleaze-film fanatic interested for at least a minute or two.

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