Scum of The Earth - Blah... Blah... Blah... Love Songs For The New Millennium

Eclipse Records
Produced by Ben Burkhardt & Riggs

Named after a Rob Zombie song Scum of the Earth, the new band from ex-Rob Zombie guitarist Riggs also features ex-Zombie drummer John Tempesta, Powerman 5000 guitarist Mike Tempesta (yes, related), bassist Clay Others and System of A Down drummer John Dolmayan. And essentially, it sounds like a Rob Zombie record.

It does however, sound like a Zombie record with some serious groove. Riggs handles the vocals, and sounds exactly like Rob. Obviously the guitars sound like a Rob Zombie record, given that Riggs played on both of his solo albums before this one and John Tempesta played on the second White Zombie album and both Rob Zombie albums (although he only plays on three songs here). Riggs even uses plenty of sampled voices etc to punctuate the songs. You get the idea. It sounds like Zombie. But it sounds like more than Zombie. There are elements that are distinctly different. Like the soft vocals on Little Spider and Give Up Your Ghost and the sitar and violins on the latter.

Opening with the heavy groove of I Am The Scum the scene is set. It starts with a sample, then a very heavy guitar riff and powerful drums simply dripping in groove kick in with Riggs shouting the classic Zombie "Go! Go! Go!". Bloodsuckinfreakshow continues in a similar vein, but features the additional vocals of Gaige Riggs (noted as "xtra kreepy vocals" in the liner notes). Both the opening tracks feature some sampled drum machine style beats here and there, and given the lack of a drummer listed for the songs that Tempesta and Dolmayan don't do, it's possible that all the drumming on these tracks is fake.

First single Get Your Dead On continues the onslaught with another heavy riff, more morbid "love song" lyrics and powerful drumming from John Tempesta, but does it with a slightly more bombastic commercial feel. Then Little Spider goes completely against the grain, featuring soft guitars, clean vocals and the only proper love song lyrics of the whole album. The creepy effects in the background, and clean vocals not exactly being entirely creep-free mean the song still sounds like a horror song. It's one of the best songs on the album, because it's completely different, well written and equally as powerful as the heavy songs, which is impressive in itself.

Murder Song and Altargirl 13 return to the heavy sound of the opening trio, with more morbid lyrics, crushing riffs and powerhouse drums. But it's Pornstarchampion which yields the biggest surprise. It turns out it's a rewritten version of We Will Rock You by Queen. It features the original chorus, but with a new riff, new verses about a pornstar, a sample of Freddie Mercury singing the "old man... big disgrace" verse that all the new verses are modelled on, and the original guitar solo.

Nothing Girl is a much more techno/industrial song than the rest until about half way through an excellent acoustic guitar melody changes the pace a little for a few seconds. The Devil Made Me Do It is another heavy one, but with a catchy chorus that could easily see it being the second single. Then the other clean-vocal track, Give Up Your Ghost lightens the air a bit, brilliant sitar, violins and acoustic guitar making it just as good as Little Spider, before Beneath The Living finishes the record in the same crushing style it started in, but in a noticeably more punky way.

Unfortunately, the final similarity to a Zombie record is an unwelcome one - it's less than forty minutes long. Otherwise, it's a fantastic, heavy, horror-metal record. The two softer, equally sinister tracks really stand out as masterpieces. Nothing Girl and possibly (but not really) Beneath The Living are the only tracks that let the side down a little. Whether Zombie himself can match this with his next effort, set to feature Ex-Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, remains to be seen. But this is easily better than all of Riggs' work with Zombie.

“ horror-metal ”

Tracklist: I Am The Scum / Bloodsuckinfreakshow / Get Your Dead On / Little Spider / Murder Song / Alter Girl 13 / Pornstarchampion / Nothing Girl / The Devil Made Me Do It / Give Up Your Ghost / Beneath The Living

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2005, Albums, Other,

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