Sound — 7
Rob Zombie's "best of" compilation: "Past, Present And Future" kicks off with the White Zombie thrash masterpeice "Thunderkiss '65." It pulverizes like Megadeth or Slayer, rocks a hard, catchy, memorable riff that would make Black Sabbath fans happy, and refreshingly remembers to have fun and groove as hard and deep as an early Clutch recording. Tracks like "Thunderkiss '65" are representative of the White Zombie years in good ol' Rob's career, and are impossible not to head-bang to. Unfortunately, this quality alternative-thrash metal isn't covered well enough in "Past Present and Future". Instead, we get a handful of masterful White Zombie songs, and a whole lot of good-but-not-great Rob Zombie solo tracks. a lot of the solo work compromises catchy guitar for an over-emphasis on electronic synthesizer effects and sampling, and there are too many novelty covers (two disco hits and a cover of the Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop"). Also, industrial-atmospherics work with Zombie's shtick metal awkwardly, and spooky tracks like "Hands of Death" feel dreary and mediocre. Zombie's industrial is, as one of Rob's vampiric bowling buddies would likely say: "blah." Let's leave the gothic industrial-rock for Marilyn and Trent Reznor. On the bright side of the solo-spectrum, however, "Superbeast" rocks with fist-pumping testosterone, "Dragula" is a disco-spliced head-banger, and "Living Dead Girl" struts with funky B-Movie swagger.
Lyrics — 8
Rob Zombie's tongue-in-cheek house-o'-horrors lyrics are fun and refreshing after listening to his gloomy "I-hate-my-mom" dispositioned nu metal peers. It gets a tad generic on some tracks, but usually they're imaginative and never boring. His singing, while not exactly pretty or melodic, is gravely, powerful, and distinctive. Excellent for rowdy moshpits.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, "Past, Present, and Future" is a decent overview of a great band and it's frontman's not-as-great-but-still-fairly-good attempts at going solo. I do wish there were more White Zombie tracks included (where are "Grease Paint and Monkey Brains" and "Welcome to Planet Motherf--ker") but there are still enough hard-rockin', grooveable riffs and campy lyrics to keep you entertained between "Tales From The Crypt" re-runs.