Loud & Proud, 2010
The latest album from Rob Zombie is finally out after a delay due to changing record companies right before the original release date in 2009. Hellbilly Deluxe 2 doesn’t match the excitement of the first Hellbilly Deluxe record, but it’s still an interesting album. A sequel album will inevitably be compared to the original, and so Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is forced to live up to expectations while avoiding the trap of becoming a knock-off. The album succeeds in carving out its own identity, but it’s not quite as exciting as previous Rob Zombie records. That’s not to say this is a bad album, just one that takes getting used to with a few listens. “Sick Bubblegum” and “What?” are two songs that immediately take hold with their addictive melodies. “Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory” and “Jesus Frankenstein” are the other songs that are closest to what you would expect from Rob Zombie. The rest of the album is a bit of a departure from the high-intensity rock of previous work. “Werewolf, Baby!” flirts with Southern-style rock with its slide guitar work, “What?” makes heavy use of an organ, “The Man Who Laughs” incorporates strings. Studio tricks are kept to minimum, and the result is guitar-based album in which the heavy, sludgy feel of a White Zombie album is gone. Hellbilly Deluxe 2 really deserves time to grow and appreciate. My initial reaction was lukewarm and dismissive, but I began to “get it” after the third or fourth time through. Rob Zombie really has done an impressive job of developing his sound and not rehashing past work. I’m not sure how much radio will embrace this, but those who have followed Zombie’s rise over the years should find a lot to appreciate on Hellbilly Deluxe 2. Rob Zombie has once again proven himself to be one of the most interesting and innovative metal artists.
Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper have area co-headlining dates as part of the Gruesome Twosome Tour. Both bands will first be appearing at Mayo Civic Center Arena in Rochester on Tuesday, May 11, then at DECC Arena in Duluth on Wednesday, May 12.
John 5, guitarist for Rob Zombie, will be signing copies of his latest solo CD The Art Of Malice at the 4540 Maine Ave. S.E. location of Best Buy in Rochester before the show at 5:30.