Past, Present & Future is the first-ever Rob Zombie retrospective. The collection is steeped both visually and aurally in the scary monsters, sexy women, and schlock horror images that have always adorned Zombie's death's-head calling card; from a strictly musical standpoint, his turgid industrial sludge and beyond-the-grave vocals benefit greatly from the set's liberal editing. That's because Zombie has always had one fabulously filthy gear, and his pedal is always scraping the metal; Past's 19 tracks simply streamline his career's death race into one satisfying 2000-mile straightaway. "Thunder Kiss '65," "Dragula," and the incredible, impossible, wonderfully stupid "More Human Than Human" attack the eardrums with toxic vengeance; collaborations with Alice Cooper and Howard Stern approach the proto-industrial grind of KMFDM; and kooky covers of "I'm Your Boogieman" and "Brickhouse" run the originals' disco beat through a freaky fun house filled with lurid porn samples and booty-shaking bottom end. (The latter track even pulls poor Lionel Richie into a duet with Rob and raunchy Trick Daddy protégée Trina). "Pussy Liquor" is just dumb, but again, you have to be amazed at Zombie's ability to get away -- and even do well with -- such stupidity. After all, behind the dreads, monster makeup, and platform boots, Zombie is a likeable, talented creative with a flair for reinvention. Like so much of his source material, his work isn't meant for deep contemplation -- only chomping-at-the-bit consumption. That's why he can make it sound like he invented the word "Yeah!" In addition to its host of past guilty pleasures, Past, Present & Future includes two previously unreleased songs and a DVD with ten Zombie-directed music videos, three of them never before seen. Never known for his humbleness, Zombie also designed the accompanying full-color, 36-page booklet, which includes a bizarre photo timeline in which the Astrocreep seems to age 50 years in less than 20.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2