B-Movie Interludes, an unmistakable chug and every verse ending in the word ‘Yeah’. Yep, you guessed it, Uncle Rob is back in town with his second solo outing ‘The Sinister Urge’. The self-confessed leader of Spookshow International has always produced decent, if inconsistant, releases and this is no exception. However the man’s downfall is not so much his failure to release a completely brilliant release, more accurately, it’s his lack of musical progression. From the very first ‘chilling’ intro it’s pretty much the same ol’ formula Rob Zombie’s been whacking out for the best part of a decade, a beastly thumping guitar, a solid backbeat as those gravelly vocals. It’s got to be about time for a change, surely! It’s like finding a flavour of ice cream you really like. You keep eating it all the time but after a short period of time you know what to expect and the flavour becomes flat.
Now, in perfect honesty, 98’s debut opus, ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ was a decent, if unspectacular, foray into the world as a solo artist. With White Zombie, however, the man was seen as an innovator with 92’s ‘La Sexorcisto’ and, more importantly, 95’s ‘Astro Creep 2000’ being benchmark releases in 90’s metal but with ‘The Sinister Urge’, you’ve got to be expecting a revolution. The Second Coming of the Super Beast, if you will. In reality, we ended up with a Happy Meal when we should of had a four-course onslaught.
That’s not to say this is a bad record, if you’re already a Zombie fan this’ll be a blood-drenched Corker from the Crypt but it’s unlikely to convince the doubters. ‘Demon Speeding’ is a belter of an opener with that guitar sound jerking along with magnum force and a swirling string section that compliments Rob’s horror image, conjuring images of a stage coach galloping valiantly in the full-moon light. ‘Never Gonna Stop’ sees a sultry bass groove giving way to a typically snarling chorus while ‘Go To California’ is all middle-Eastern promise and Hell-charged vigour with Zombie showing full cynicism as he pronounces that ‘Everybody’s different, But there all the same ’. Tommy Lee lends his inimitable drum style to an unusually gazelle-paced ‘Dead Girl Superstar’ and Ozzy is just Ozzy, adding star quality whilst wailing in unison with the Super Beast on ‘Ironhead’. It’s a lackluster end from Rob, as per usual, with the nine minute ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ sounding as crap in practice as it did in theory and ‘Scum of The Earth’ from last years ‘MI:2’ soundtrack proving to be simply Zombie-by-numbers.
‘The Sinister Urge’ will, as always with Mr. Zombie, fair infinitely better in the live environment. And admittedly, it’s nice to hear some metal with a bit of stomp to it with absolutely no rapping of any sort within a million mile radius, but we should expect something more from Rob and his band of (un)merry men. It’s not a great album, nor is it a bad one, it’s just ordinary, something I never thought I’d have to associate with Rob Zombie.