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“Hellbilly Deluxe 2” by Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie is almost synonymous with Halloween, and not just for the strange take on the “Halloween” movie franchise, which wasn’t his best work compared to some of his other movies. 


Rob Zombie is one of the only artists to have the multitude of his work, both music and movies, based on horror themes or aspects of terror. He has made some movies that I personally didn’t enjoy like “The Lords of Salem” or his version of “The Munsters,” However, he kills it with “House of 1000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and “3 From Hell.” 


We are going to look at his sequel to a masterful album, “Hellbilly Deluxe 2,” and see how he built off it to add some more spooky songs to our playlists. 


Let’s start with “Jesus Frankenstein,” an absolute headbanger that manages to describe how humanity is an amalgamation of good and evil. The song suggests we can be more like Christ but we choose to try to play God and become monsters, a reference to “Frankenstein.” This song has a killer vibe and some awesome lyrics. 


“Werewolf Women of the SS” is a song about the exploitation of werewolf Nazi women, which was turned into a fake trailer for the “Grindhouse” movie. On a similar note, “Werewolf, Baby!” is a song about a guy turning into a werewolf and falling in love. 


The following songs ooze the classic Rob Zombie vibe: “Death and Destiny Inside the Dream Factory” is a short but entertaining song and seems to be him taking a shot at making a punk song. “Sick Bubblegum,” getting its name from a quote by Johnny Ramone on the history of punk, where Ramone described it as “sick bubblegum.” Zombie liked this quote and paired it with a catchy chorus. 


Rob Zombie selected songs that deal with specific horror movies. Based off a cheesy movie from the late ‘60s, “Mars Needs Women,” opens with a surprising acoustic intro then is thrown into a thumper that you can’t help but move to. There’s “The Man Who Laughs,” named after a horror movie which is now almost 100 years old and inspired “The Joker.” This song is a 10-minute showcase of Rob Zombie’s band and features a skilled drum solo. 


Another horror movie themed song is “Virgin Witch.” This one is kind of basic in comparison, and the riff has a lot of arguments about who played it first because it sounds similar to “Freya” by The Sword. I couldn’t enjoy these songs because they don’t live up to the original vibes from the first album. This includes “Burn,” which has a decent guitar part, but it just didn’t really catch me like the previous songs did. 


Considering it used the same title as a song written by Charles Manson, “Cease To Exist” had me hoping for something much more intense but seemed to be influenced by Black Sabbath—it isn’t bad, but it isn’t as great as it could’ve been. 


Just in case you wanted some strange changes to the songs, Rob Zombie provides them for you. There is “What? (The Naughty Cheerleader mix),” ”Jesus Frankenstein (Halfway to Hell and Loving It mix)” and “Sick Bubblegum (Men or Monsters… Or Both? mix).” All of these songs utilize electronic distortion on them, as well as some added effects. But, I still prefer their original counterparts. 


Overall, I thought this was a solid album, although not as iconic as the “Hellbilly Deluxe.” However, this album deserves more recognition for the spooky season approaching. 

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