Jumbled and bizarre
Grim heavy-metal legend Rob Zombie is back with his seventh studio album, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, after a roughly five-year break from music. The album features the same lineup as his previous two works, with Zombie on vocals, John 5 on guitar, Piggy D. on bass and Ginger Fish on drums. Most recognized for his living-dead look and gruesome horror films, Zombie has returned to his classically unnerving tracks and off-kilter titles. For those unfamiliar with Zombie, he often fends off more “traditional” labels and genres by composing songs with sci-fi and horror elements. The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy features a sounds only Zombie could have ever imagined, taking the listener on a wild ride deep into an entirely new horror show.
The album begins with a voice recording that foreshadows the “insanity” and “loss of contact with reality” that Zombie aims to achieve with this album. There are classic Zombie rage songs like “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” and “Get Loose.” Several of these tracks take people back to Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl” ’90s era, as he continues to mix strange sci-fi sounds into a more traditional heavy-metal base.
Zombie tones down the heaviness and showcases his musical range on tracks like “Shadow of the Cemetery Man” and “Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass.” These tracks incorporate several heavy-groove rhythms and will have people moving and foot-stomping happily to odd lyrics like, “I don’t want your flying nun.”
“18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket On the Ghost Train” is an interesting track. It jumps from country and banjos to heavy-metal when least expected—a clear Rob Zombie musical experiment. It’s easy to picture someone line dancing to this song until they’re oddly interrupted by Zombie’s raging vocals, “Get onboard the ghost train.”
“Boom-Boom-Boom,” which also has a bit of a Western lilt to it but in a dark-groove Zombie way, could be featured in one of his movie soundtracks. This is one of the slowest and most relaxed tracks on the album, but makes up for the lack of that heavy metal resolve with cool grooves that will have people rocking back and forth to the rhythm (as they take in Zombie’s lyrical analysis of witches).
Though the 17-track album perfectly exhibits Zombie’s proclivities for experimentation, it is definitely way too long. This album could’ve easily gone without the instrumental tracks, as they often bluntly interrupt the flow of the album instead of comfortably transitioning into the next track in the way that Zombie probably intended them to.
Rob Zombie is known to focus on horror-inspired music and to introduce unexpected sounds on every album. Though the album features some memorable and groovy tracks, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy unfortunately does not flow very well from front to back. At this point, it is to be expected for Zombie to steer away from the traditional, but that is not an excuse to throw every single imaginative sound together on a single album. There must be additional consideration for the cohesion of the project as a whole.