Musician, filmmaker, and theme park designer Rob Zombie is no stranger to the remix. 1996’s Supersexy Swingin Sounds featured remixes of songs by his White Zombie group, while 1999’s American Made Music to Strip By packed in remixes of tracks from Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe record.
Now, Mondo Sex Head becomes the third album to feature remixes of Zombie hits and its job is to capitalize on the inherent groove found within his music.
“I always thought my stuff had a groove to it,” he says. “We’re not a rigid, straight-ahead metal band. That’s woven into what we’ve always done anyway. My allegiance was always with bands that had that, like Zeppelin, Sabbath, Grand Funk or Aerosmith.”
Mondo Sex Head proves that Zombie’s horror carnival ride of a music career has a chunky, funky, groove-laced centre. It also has a fairly sustaining amount of nerve, with track names like “Pussy Liquor” and “Devil’s Hole Girls” providing a few grade school smirks.
KoRn’s Jonathan Davis, billed here as JDevil, is up first with his “Number of the Beast” remix of Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65.” The original cut was White Zombie’s first big hit. Here, Davis seems to start by segregating the beat and working from a harder structure. The guitar crunch makes it still very much a White Zombie track, but JDevil’s modifications present enough shifts to fortify it as an original work.
†††’s kick at the can is Zombie’s “Dragula.” The remix project featuring Chino Moreno (Deftones), Shawn Lopez (Far) and Scott Chuck seems concerned with destabilizing the original’s lashing beat and replacing it with a night-kissed vibe that switches the song’s pacing around. It has a somewhat idiosyncratic atmosphere and feels at place cruising through a bad neighbourhood on a murky night.
Ki:Theory shows up twice, once with the aforementioned “Pussy Liquor” and again on “Foxy Foxy,” a track originally found on Zombie’s Educated Horses record. Both tracks feature similar approaches and both refine the original works, reconstructing them from the ground up with moody, wraithlike touches.
Also of note is Photek’s remix of “Living Dead Girl.” The Los Angeles-based producer draws on his drum and bass roots to construct a befittingly haunting but damn groovy version of Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe hit, drawing melodic components in slowly and making great use of vocal effects.
And fans of the Italian rave scene will dig the frenetic assault that is the Bloody Beetroots’ take on “Burn.”
There is some truly satisfying work to be found on Mondo Sex Head. The record allows for a good blend of dance and rock music, showcasing what happens when some of the genre’s best and bloodiest take over the work of one its most unashamedly entertaining performers.