Rob Zombie

Educated Horses

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When he's not directing feature films like House of 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie likes to make music. Educated Horses, the prolific director, writer/animator/horror aficionado's return to the world of hedonistic, sexed-up monster rock doesn't stray too far from the formula that garnered him such a rabid fan base, but there's less theater and more backwoods creepiness at hand this time around. Horses crawls on all fours for the first three tracks, relying on too many tried-and-true White Zombie dance beats and turgid guitar riffs to hint at anything outside of sheer puppetry, but when the mid-tempo crunch of "17 Year Locust" begins to echo Sabotage-era Black Sabbath, it's clear that Zombie himself is having the time of his life pulling the strings. "Scorpion Sleeps," with its boot-stomping intro plays like Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll, Pt.1" blaring from angel's trumpets at the apocalypse, "Ride," with its Tubular Bells-inspired piano riff, evolves into a storm of sonic debauchery, and the purely psychedelic singalong "Death of It All" sounds like the end credits to the last film ever. Schlock it may be, but it's infinitely more listenable -- and enjoyable -- than most schlock thinks it is.

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