Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.

music Home > Record Reviews

Sound Tracks

White Zombie: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie


White Zombie: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Label:Geffen/Universal
Format:Album
Media:CD
Release Date:2008
Genre:Hard Rock/Metal

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 12/17/2008

Zombie-come-latelies might not know this, but before he was considered a third-rate George Romero, Rob Zombie was considered a third-rate Al Jourgensen. In its four-disc, one-DVD retrospective sweep, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie exhumes the work of White Zombie--his long-defunct thrash group--detailing its long, hard climb from underground obscurity to alt-rock fame.

At the outset, White Zombie set a standard for inept awfulness, reasoning that there was no sense in becoming proficient enough to play its way out of a paper bag when it could just have truckloads of dog shit delivered and set themselves ablaze. The EPs Gods on Voodoo Moon (1985), Pig Heaven (1986), and Psycho-Head Blowout (1987) hurtled by in a contentious, hit-it-and-quit-it blur, with Zombie's graphic horror concepts delivered in a hardcore kid's strained yell; the band ping-ponged between punk crunch, pop sludge, and weedy psychedelic excess, coming off like Bunnybrains, Nirvana, and Minor Threat duking it out.

This status quo remained until 1989's Make Them Die Slowly, when everything changed: hooks leapt to the forefront, needless noodling receded, a deliberative sensibility emerged, and Zombie's voice deepened into an authoritative ogre's grunt. All of a sudden, White Zombie was a cartoon grindhouse metalhead, and, as movie samples begin to surface increasingly in the mix and a Geffen contract was signed, it matured into the Mad Max dive bar house band its promo shots suggested it was.

Its last record doubled as its best; 1995's Astro Creep: 2000 found White Zombie light years removed from its awkward origin, banging out quasi-industrial pop metal--the slow wind-up whiplash of "More Human Than Human," the tactical riffage of "Real Solution #9"--like low-culture pros.

Comments powered by Disqus
Calendar
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter