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Spins • Rob Zombie: “Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy”

| April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

 

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

(Nuclear Blast)

For the past three decades, Rob Zombie has been music’s master of macabre. He’s built his career on disco metal groove songs about witches, monsters, and sexy mamas. He excels in disco sleaze groove metal horror-inspired songs to shake your ass to. And that’s exactly what you get on The Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy.  

Rob Zombie’s long-awaited seventh album doesn’t deviate much from this tried-and-true formula. It’s business as usual, and it’s a helluva good time. “Triumph of the King Freak” is a bombastic, in-your-face anthem reminding you who the king of disco-funk supernatural metal is. It’s a ferocious introduction to the strange, trippy journey we’re about to embark on with Zombie. Despite sounding similar to his past songs, it’s hard to resist the boot-stomping energy of “The Ballad of Sleazy Rider” or the sexy groove of “Shadow of the Cemetery Man.”

The heart-racing “The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man” is one of the album’s best songs. Everything from the old school horror movie intro to the raging guitars and the porno-esque breakdown screams classic Zombie. And “The Satanic Rites of Blacula” is another fun, high-energy song that gets you riled up, fists pumping in the air. The mood shifts on the closing track “Crow Killer Blues.” It has a sinister edge. The song is heavy with a sense of doom as Zombie chants, “As you bleed darkness/judgment shall begin,” as if he’s bringing on the apocalypse. For a record that sounds like a non-stop party, it ends on a strangely bleak note.

Then there’s “18th Century Cannibals Excitable Morlocks on the Ghost Train,” the most WTF song on the album. It’s Rob Zombie gone country. The twanging guitars, Zombie’s southern drawl, and the rambling lyrics throw you off guard. On first listen, it’s off-putting. It doesn’t flow with the rest of the album, and the hoedown-inspired music is strange. But it grows on you after a while, especially with its intense hook that hits you like a runaway train. You gotta give it to him for going full country here. It’s a ballsy move that shatters our expectations. And it shows Zombie has no problem shifting gears sonically. This experimentation would’ve made the album stronger.

Whereas 2016’s The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (what’s up with him and these titles?) felt concise and left little room for filler, this album is too long. Not all of the 17 tracks are winners. Songs like “Get Loose,” “Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass,” and “Boom-Boom-Boom” are tolerable but ultimately forgettable. But the numerous instrumentals really kill the album. They’re not even bad. They’re actually quite good and explore different sounds and styles lacking in other songs. But they’re too short, feeling more like unfinished ideas from the recording session. If they were fully fleshed out songs, they would add more variety to the album and push Zombie out of his comfort zone. Otherwise, they add little to the record.

The Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy is an in-the-books Rob Zombie album. If you’ve heard his previous records, you know what to expect here. Though it’s similar to his past albums, it’s still a good time. The songs are catchy, heavy, trippy, and funky as good Rob Zombie songs should be. After a year of music that reflected the hardships of 2020, it’s a relief to get an album that’s just fun. It’s the soundtrack to the wild, trippy party we all deserve right now. Is it the best of his career? No, but after 34 years of digging through ditches and burning through witches, Rob Zombie proves he can still be our boogie man.

7 out of 10

-Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

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Category: Featured, Monthly, Spins

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