April 20, 2005

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Rob Zombie, Educated Horses
Geffen, 2006

Though the newest disc from everyone’s favorite gleefully deranged shock-rocker treads the same twisted, Tales From the Crypt-inspired industrial-rock sound the cartoonish singer has always been known for, more than anything Educated Horses reaffirms my long held belief that things in life are always more enjoyable when one embraces them with zero expectations.

Educated Horses throws die-hard Zombie fans an immediate curveball on opener, “Sawdust in the Blood,” a brief instrumental featuring ominous keys and urgent, menacing drums—the perfect score to the opening sequence of Rosemary’s Baby II. Don’t scream sell out yet though, young Zombie fan. Things return to normal (and remain that way) on “American Witch,” which features mid-free, power-drill guitars and Mr. Zombie’s patented charcoal-gravel voice, invoking lyrics of headless horsemen, grim reapers, sinners and general doomsday dread.

The fact that all of Horses’ songs are painfully inane and cheesed out to the max should go without saying. Educated Horses is the type of slick-sounding, corporate rock album that serves as more of a party-prompter, or dormitory background noise than an album you sit down and actually listen to.

Still, as uninspired as the album is, it’s difficult to really hate a performer like Rob Zombie, especially when many of the rocker’s twisted tunes are so damn catchy. Try as you might, there’s simply no resisting the shake-your-booty appeal of “Foxy, Foxy,” and the Sabbath-esq “17 Year Locust.” Educated Horses might not get your pulse racing as it aspires to, but at best the album serves as commendable escapist distraction, and likely an even better soundtrack to Zombie’s next Texas Chainsaw knockoff. C
— Adam Marletta


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