Rob Zombie
The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy


2.0
poor

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
March 12th, 2021 | 46 replies


Release Date: 03/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Lunar Injection... is too busy focusing on the finer details, it forgets to make decent songs.

It’s clear that The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy is a by-product of today’s music industry. It’s also completely indicative of where Zombie’s headspace is at these days. To paraphrase a sentiment he’s stood behind for the last decade: “People don’t buy records anymore, so fu-k it.” During most interviews from the last ten years, Rob Zombie can be heard laying down this mantra, slouched in a chair sporting his shaggy dreadlocks, tatty denim jacket, and brown-tinted aviator sunglasses. He deploys the issue with a typically casual and laidback disposition – as if the problem comes off his shoulders like water off a duck’s back – but it’s blatantly apparent the topic has been the bane of his music career for some time. Then again, it’s hard to argue with his assessment on the industry today either; after all, in 2021 music lovers consume large volumes of music with an almost insulting indifference when compared to how music was listened to back when Rob was a wee lad. In the days of yore, music enthusiasts were seen to be scrimping and scraping to buy that one album they desired to hear so much. Getting the admission fee was only one part of the task though, after that they had to go down to their local record store and physically buy the LP before their dreams could be met.

So, where am I going with this? Well, the culmination of exerted effort and the use of one’s own valuable resources creates a high incentive to wear the hell out of the album you just spent all that time getting a hold of. Suddenly, the utmost attention goes into every guitar note, lyric, drumbeat, and vocal melody until there’s nothing left to explore in it anymore. That’s what the “album experience” is. However, with the fast-food approach to music consumption in the modern day, that experience has diminished significantly, and I do believe it has affected Zombie’s own work and his outlook to some degree, as it’s clear he is an avid music listener himself who misses the slow, treasured art of listening to an album. But therein lies the irony, because if you were to sit down and apply the concept of consuming every sonic crumb a record has to offer, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy and The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser – particularly the former – would present a very brief exercise in this regard. That’s because as far back as Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, Zombie and his cohorts shifted the paradigm to gimmicky experimentation, self-contained singles, and music videos rather than crafting cohesive, multifaceted albums. After all, what’s the point in putting all that time and effort into a seamless opus for it to go squandered on someone half-listening to it in the background while they’re scrubbing the grout on their bathroom walls.

I’ll admit that Zombie’s penchant for experimentation and pithy songwriting in recent years has opened up an interesting door for the band to explore, however the problem in guiding those broad, eclectic ideas into a coherent and enjoyable experience is an entirely different matter. The Electric Warlock Acid Witch… in particular had some great ideas at the heart of it, but it was so badly pieced together it was like a week’s worth of leftover meals being emptied into one big bowl of bizarre tasting gruel. Unfortunately, to the surprise of no one, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy follows in the same vein as that record, only the results are far more insidious than even I could have imagined. This is hands down the worst album Rob Zombie has ever made. It’s also the worst album John 5, Piggy D, and Ginger Fish have ever been involved with. The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy oozes complacency on every level: at best, the album is achingly derivative, at worst it’s an utterly jarring cringefest – caused primarily by Rob’s creature-feature inspired lyrics and half-arsed vocal takes. The annoying thing is, when “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” landed on Halloween last year, I was pleasantly surprised by the band’s mixture of rooted industrial-heaviness and breezy, nonregional experimentation. It had the gnarly power of his earlier works sitting in unison with the contemporary grindhouse production style of recent albums and just enough eccentric flavour to add colour to the track, overall. It’s a shame, then, that none of that represents the other sixteen tracks here.

John 5 has never really spread his wings during his time in Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie, so if that’s as far as your knowledge extends to on the matter, know that he’s one of the most articulate virtuoso guitar players in the game today; he’s a very expressive guitarist who uses the instrument as an extension of his own body, never more apparent than on his interesting and emotive solo instrumental albums. However, his playing and merits as a composer for Rob Zombie have regressed to egregious levels as the band shuffle from one album to the next. The songwriting here is insultingly paper thin, derivative, and alarmingly recycled. John 5’s prowess continues to sit on the backburner, offering only the most soporific structures, rhythms, and generic hard rock riffs and solos. Hell, where credit was given to Ginger Fish’s drumming last time around, even that fails to step up to the mark here, delivering only the bare minimum; and musically speaking, that’s the biggest problem with The Lunar Injection…. When the album isn’t throwing in some wacky left-field element that doesn’t work, it’s only offering entry-level rock riffs that have been so overused at this point it doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s a prime example of a band running exclusively on autopilot.

Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is one of the best albums Zombie has ever produced, which would probably explain why every album since has tried to capture its kooky personality. Simply put, this iteration is dead on arrival and is built solely on ticking boxes; it’s a shallow imitation of that album’s character, and the whole thing ends up feeling like an iffy deja vu. Echoic to the grainy sound samples and grindhouse aesthetics of the last two albums, only none of it flows well here or comes into fruition to serve a greater purpose. It’s all in there because… well, it’s Rob Zombie and that’s just what he does. Everything feels artificial, and only when you get to those awful DJ scratches or “18th Century Cannibals…”’s painfully superficial country-inspired verse, backed up by Rob’s hideous distorted barks, will you realise what a complete farce this all is. Zombie himself doesn’t make things any easier either – the guy plays a pertinent role in throttling these prosaic numbers with clunky and cringe lyric arrangements, coupled with stupendously tacky hooks.

I don’t take this stuff lightly; I’ve been a fan of Rob Zombie’s and the individuals within this current line-up for over twenty years, and all things considered, never have I come across a project from any of them this flaccid or uninspired. Sure, it’s not outright unlistenable – it doesn’t elicit downright contempt over what it does – but the thought of going into another album in the same vein as their last one, only worse, fails to draw a great deal of enthusiasm out of me. With a hackneyed focus on forcibly juxtaposing several random styles into their main rock sound, the stupidly long track names, and the uninspired hard rock instrumental work we get on here, essentially the album comes across as a tasteless meme. I get and even agree with a lot of what Rob says about the music industry today, but this outlook has warped his perception into thinking nonregional music means throwing sh-t at the wall and seeing what sticks. As an album, the songs don’t work well together, but equally, who would want to listen to these songs individually either?

FORMAT//EDITIONS:
DIGITAL//VINYL//CASSETTE

UNBOXING VIDEO:
TBA

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE:
https://robzombie.com/lunar-injection/



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user ratings (49)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


16848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

massively let down by this one

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


24224 Comments


Interesting concepts you touch on here doc. I believe that with the vinyl fever revival, people is actually buying more music than ever. And I tell you, if a band makes a hell of a record, I would listen to it until I've learned the last beat and melody.

It's easy to complain about the lack of attention to your material when you are actually making mediocre music, it's not the buyer's fault, or trends, or any other excuse, it's the artist not making good and engaging shit, plain and simple.

Great review as always Gonz.

Digging: Zao - The Crimson Corridor

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


13964 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oof. Well-written piece Simon, but given my rating I'd say I disagree a lot.



That first paragraph however, is right on the money.

Tunaboy45
March 12th 2021


17608 Comments


This had promise too

Digging: Xiu Xiu - OH NO

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


15912 Comments


Nice review Dr.
I lost track long ago and it looks like it will stay that way.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


5403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lovely review, I totally agree with the first two paragraphs. Zombie's been churning these short songs lately that might have a cool groove, but that's about it. It doesn't even feel as if focusing on tunes rather than the LP experience. Half of the stuff is just lazy. I don't have high hopes for this record.



They should get a producer and organize a 35-minute record that is banging all the way through.

Digging: Motorpsycho - Kingdom of Oblivion

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 12th 2021


37113 Comments


Is it weird that I'm like 75% sure I've never even heard a Rob Zombie song? Great review as always Gonz, if I ever choose to check out Rob Zombie I'll start elsewhere.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks Of God

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


24224 Comments


Just check White Zombie instead Sow.

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2021


8686 Comments


Never was a fan of this guy’s music tbh. I do enjoy quite a few of his movies though

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


5403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Has a few cool tunes, but it's bloated with interludes.

Dedes
March 12th 2021


7621 Comments


@sowing
Just jam Superbeast on repeat and that's all you will ever need

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


16848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks a lot for the kind words guys, always appreciated.



Surely you’ve heard dragula sow? Haha his first couple of albums and rat vendor are worth checking for curiosity’s sake.



@Ins

Yeah I sat at that at first but after repeated listen I realised how thin the proper tracks were.



@notce

I need to know how you can prefer this over their last one? Haha



@dewi

You’re right, people are buying music more now, but not like they were pre-streaming. Streaming is both a blessing and a curse imo because it’s certainly stunted the old model. Like I say, I do agree with what rob says, he’s a pretty smart guy, but he sees that as a way of putting little effort into his writing these days because he thinks nobody really cares about genres etc anymore



bloc
March 12th 2021


65208 Comments


All his album covers look alike so I can never tell if something's a new album or not lol

Digging: Chaka Khan - What 'Cha Gonna Do for Me

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


26348 Comments


What the hell is that album title lol

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2021


16848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

you think that's of note, check the track names lol

PsychicChris
March 12th 2021


354 Comments


The best music these days is made by people who had it instilled in them from a very young age that they would never be able to actually do this for a living. It's hard to be disappointed that people aren't buying your music when you never expected them to in the first place!

ConcubinaryCode
March 12th 2021


5607 Comments


I really like your review. I'm partial to HD1 but it's a shame he doesn't seem interested in making music as fun as that again. Who is he making music for exactly?

wwf
March 13th 2021


7015 Comments


does this man add an extra word to the title every album or

Dmax28
March 13th 2021


840 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought this was a ton of fun

heck
March 13th 2021


5713 Comments


fuck I hate the naming scheme he's been doing for the past few albums

Digging: ERRA - ERRA



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