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Astro Creep: 2000 -- Songs of Love, Destruction, and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head

Astro Creep: 2000 -- Songs of Love, Destruction, and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head thumbnail

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  • When I first listened to it three years ago, I judged “Astro-Creep 2000″ to be trash. However, after happening upon it one night on my car radio, bass cranked up high, I decided to give the band a second chance. Although it is now defunct and Rob Zombie has gone on his own, I feel that White Zombie is one of the most inspired bands of the decade. While countless other bands incestuously ape each other, singing of trendy, phony angst (for genuine earth-shattering angst, listen to Gustav Mahler), this band’s music satisfies the senses in ways that other bands cannot.I guess I like White Zombie because of the apparent contradictions in its music. On the one hand, there’s the Postmodern self-parody of so-called “Devil” music, with its silly Satanism (Who can help but laugh at the “Devilman runnin’ in my head” bit in “Super-Charger Heaven?”) and Rob Zombie’s deadpan growling of the lyrics. But then, there’s also genuine feeling in the music, which has an almost organic quality, like someone using bowels and intestines as instruments. In other words, White Zombie takes its music-making seriously, without taking itself seriously. Its intention is to entertain, to help us get in touch with our inner “Devilman” (or Devilwoman), and perhaps to help us laugh at the very things that scared the bejeezus out of us as kids (To paraphrase Mark Twain, the best way to get rid of the Devil is to laugh at him.). It also criticizes Christianity, or at least what it has become in the 2000 years since its “founder” died, and campily evokes the Devil and his army of undead ghouls and sensualists as a kind of metaphorical counterpoint. Some of White Zombie’s assaults seem a bit sophomoric, but it’s merely to shock parents and authority figures while getting its intended audience to think (hopefully) independently.The songs are very well-done for the most part. I especially like five of them. “Super-Charger Heaven” has great drive, and the “Devilman” chorus always evokes a chuckle. “Electric Head Part 2″ is funky. “I Zombie” has a (more or less) terrifying sound, its relentless beat reminding me of the “Mars” movement in Holst’s “The Planets” (The monotone singing is particularly effective.). “More Human Than Human” is very well-played, its opening placing me in mind of how Wagner’s “Liebestod” would have sounded if played by Jimi Hendrix alongside porno sound samples.Amidst all the crazy music, the album ends with the enigmatic “Blood, Milk, and Sky.” It sounds like an older, wizened Zombie growling quietly under quasi-Arabic rhythms. The song is almost poignant, like a Zombie who is weary of all that has transpired in the earlier songs of sex, death, and the supernatural.Analysis aside, this is an excellent recording. Not all the songs are great, but you won’t get bored either. I especially recommend it for excellent sound systems and parties where conversation is not a priority.

    Posted on December 13, 2009