Archive for category American Metal

White Zombie: ‘El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama’

White Zombie

Deep down right to my bones and my blood, I love White Zombie. Their masterwork, 1995’s Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head (to give its full title), is one of those rare albums where every track fires perfect.

The reasons for posting about White Zombie are three-fold. 1) The aforementioned fact that they are AWESOME. 2) They’ve just announced the final tracklisting of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, the CD/DVD boxset due out next month (if you know me personally, it’s on my Christmas list, HINT HINT). And 3)? Well, there’s no-one more Halloween-ish than Rob Zombie & his gang of carnage-wreakers, so they fit Halloween-theme week pretty damn tight.

White Zombie…on Letterman?

Sadly, as with most of the bands I seem to be covering at the moment, it didn’t last forever. The band collapsed in 1998, without ever releasing a studio album. There was a remix album, but that was never that satisfying. Which is why the release of the new box set is so damn exciting if, like me, you’re a total fan-boy.

What frontman Rob Zombie went on to do is common knowledge – a series of solo albums, that moved further away from the classic White Zombie sound with each subsequent release, and his current work as a film-maker, his last project being a re-imagining of – yep, Halloween. What’s less well-know is what happened to the other members of the band.

Drummer John Tempesta carried on drumming with Rob Zombie at first, but later went back to being a sticksman for hire. Aftar appearing on a number of projects, including Helmet (!), he’s currently banging the skins for The Cult. Nice work if you can get it.

Guitarist J (aka Jay Yuenger) is pottering along as a producer, although he’s never produced anything that lives up to the records he helped make as a member of White Zombie. Although one of the acts he’s produced is Rock City Morgue, a New Orleans 50’s flecked voodoo mob, who boast on bass duties….

…White Zombie’s former bassist, Sean Yseult. When White Zombie went belly-up, she first formed Famous Monsters, a psycho-surf band with an image better than their tunes, before later joining Rock City Morgue. She currently also runs a fashion business, Yseult Designs. And is an occasional touring member of The Cramps. The Cramps!

And my choice of track? Well, anything off Astro Creep: 2000 could do, but as far as song titles go, you’ve got to admit that it’s hard to top ‘El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama’


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Marilyn Manson: ‘Get Your Gunn’

There were a fair few options I was weighing up for today’s entry – the brief mention of Stampin’ Ground in the last blog post made me think about covering Romeo Must Die, one of the bands formed from their ashes. Then there was the leak of the new AC/DC record, which every man woman and metalhead is busy bit-torrenting. But then I heard about the death of Gidget Gein, aka Brad Stewart, which somehow passed me by when it was announced on Friday.

Brad Stewart was a short-lived bassist in Marilyn Manson, under the stage-name of Gidget Gein. He only played on one of their major label albums (the band’s debut, Portrait of an American Family) and never really toured with the band, being fired for his drug addictions and replaced by Jeordie ‘Twiggy Ramirez’ White soon after the album was complete. In his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell (ghost-written by Neil Strauss, who would later go on to co-write Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt), Manson describes several of Gein’s overdoses, saying he “once loved Brad like a little brother, which made it easier to hate him”. When he would later have his own overdose, Manson would reflect that it was the weakness of addiction that Stewart had become a pawn of, rather than the man himself, that he hated.

The pair had something of a reconciliation a few years ago, when Stewart appeared in the label-banned and Asia Argento-directed promo to ‘(s)Aint’ from Manson’s 2003 album, The Golden Age Of Grotesque. Since leaving Manson’s band, Stewart had been in a number of musical projects, but never found the success he had breifly found in Marilyn Manson, nor did he ever truly defeat his addiction to drugs. Stewart’s death as a result of a heroin overdose in his California home.

To mark his passing, we’re decided to run today with ‘Get Your Gunn’ by Marilyn Manson, the first single from Portrait of an American Family.

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Hellmouth: ‘Praying For Plague’

I’ve been on about established acts too much recently – time to go back underground. Michigan’s Hellmouth remind me of Stampin’ Ground, insofar that for a crossover hardcore band, they thrash harder than nine-tenths of bands passing themselves off as thrash-acts. Nasty, brutish and short, like a sadistic dwarf uppercutting your balls, ‘Praying For Plague’ is two minutes of painful hate.

The band have sold out of their Demo 08 self-release, but they’re currently working on their debut album, Destroy Everything, Worship Nothing, which should be out on Ferret Music by the end of the year. In theirt own words, it’s “a fucking evil monster of an album”. It’s on my Christmas list already.

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