Sound — 9
This album started out as the "Dope Hat" single, but ended up becoming a 54 minute remix and covers EP. Originally it had extracts from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, in the same vein as "Prelude to a family trip" from Portrait of an American family, and also some of the confessions garnered by Mr Manson and Tony Wiggins from the tour supporting Danzig. These were forced off by the record company, but the original disc was sent put as a promo and is now available for downloading, as Manson said, "God, however insignificant he may be to me, works in mysterious ways" or something like that, see Manson's autobiography for more details. Anyway, the sound, well, if I had to choose one word, it would be: Twisted. As already mentioned, this is a remix and covers disc, and contains the famous version of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)", However, despite some of the songs being cover's, Manson gives them his (then) trade mark sound. That is, a slightly playful, gothic sound, full of angst, lots of work done by Pogo here, including a couple of keyboard/synth only tracks, usually breaking up the "real" songs and so acting as long introductions. There's also a more punk rock sound, especially evident on the groups version of "Rock and Roll". Overall, this is probably the Manson sound I prefer, before he became too serious and more industrial. Special mention to the remix of "Organ grinder" called "Kiddie Grinder" The drums on this track sound immense, hats off to Ginger Fish, the then new drummer, for giving this remix real dimension and energy, nice and punky. Also to "Diary of a Dope Feind", a slowed down, and so much more sinister version of "Dope Hat" a song that already had tonnes of atmosphere, but made even better by a slowed down bass line and freaky vocal delivery. Actually, on the subject of vocals, Manson's seem to have worsened with age, and here his voice is stronger than on later records, and has more, oomph, for want of a better word.
Lyrics — 9
Many of the lyrics had appeared before, either on Portrait of an American family, or via other artists. Manson's own lyrics are pretty strong, sometimes delebrately overtly offensive, for effect, but strong and with a point nonetheless. The remix of "Cake and Sodomy" called "White trash" played an ana coustic guitar and sung by Tony Wiggins in his southern accent features different lyrics than the original, and which are deliberately censored as a form of mocking the stereotypical southern bible loving, homophobic "kill a queer for Christ" hypcrites. sorry, bit of a rant there, I don't like hypocrites. The music created by the band fits the covers well in general, in particular, the dark, creepy music that is "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)" really adds to the lyrics, more so than the original I feel. However, the version of "I put a spell on you" tries to do the same but ends up too sprawling, pulled down by its own sheer agnst filled darkness. As well as tracks and remixes, there are snippets from interviews and random samples, the only one I skip is "discoloration of the urine and feaces" as I feel it doesn't add to the album, the rest act as intros to tracks, similiar to the synth only tracks mentioned previosuly. This worka really well with "Sympathy for the parents", an interview with the band, which is then remixed, before going into "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)". The intervuew itself makes you think, which only the best lyrics do. One last thing to mention, the start of "Rock And Roll" contains a spoken line that Manson would later incoroporate into "Litle Horn" from Antichrist Superstar, just a random fact for you all.
Overall Impression — 9
I really like this album, and got it before Portrait of an American Family, thus the remixes were fresh as I'd never heard the originals. However, if you already own Portrait. I'd still highly recomend this album, as the remixes are great and there's other material on here, Manson's versions of "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)" and "Rock And Roll" are real highlights, one dark and srawling the other fast and punky. The main bad point is that if you don't like quirky, weird things, this will NOT appeal to you, and you really have to listen to the whole album all the way through to really get what I'm on about, which is an hour out of your day, still, one hell of a twisted and fun hour. If I damaged this album or it got stolen I'd definetly rebuy it, especially since these days you can get it for under a fiver, well worth the cash. Hope this review was helpful.