Now that ROB ZOMBIE has graduated to a new career as film director, with a return to music questionable, it wouldn't be surprising if other bands out there make a grab at his throne as modern metal's premier horror rocker. As a matter of fact, ZOMBIE's own guitarist, Riggs, makes a go of it with his new band, SCUM OF THE EARTH, and their debut disc, "Blah…Blah…Blah…", which not only copies the style of previous ZOMBIE album titles, but sounds like nothing less than a complete ZOMBIE clone band — only watered down and helplessly exhausted.In fact, this may be one of the worst hard rock albums I've heard this year. Riggs also takes on lead vocals here, and he sounds like a weaker, poorer imitation of his boss — which, since singing was never Rob's strongest asset, is saying very little in Riggs' favor. Even worse, however, are the riffs, grooves, melodies and samples that all sound like ZOMBIE outtakes, with nowhere near the character and power that marked albums like WHITE ZOMBIE's "La Sexorcisto" and the later solo effort, "Hellbilly Deluxe". "The Devil Made Me Do It", "I Am The Scum", "Murder Song" and a number of others on the disc are half-hearted attempts to capture the gonzo B-movie feeling and oddly catchy anthemic quality of ZOMBIE's best material, but none possess the energy nor personality of his best stuff. Meanwhile, "Little Spider" and "Give Up Your Ghost" are perhaps the shabbiest tracks on offer, limp power ballads that leaves out little details like emotion and a catchy melody. Riggs' attempt at singing with feeling just sounds flat as he is clearly trying to go beyond his limited range. It certainly is Riggs' prerogative, and that of the others in his band (which includes former POWERMAN 5000 guitarist Mike Tempesta), to keep playing after a previous situation has dried up. But why relegate yourself to becoming a second-rate simulation of the band you were in, an act which clearly revolved around — and was propelled by — the central vision and charisma of one person? These musicians would be better served by doing something completely different, even if they stay in the metal world. "Blah…Blah…Blah…" hints that they have neither the imagination nor the skills to try.
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