Do you remember when a remix album of all your songs was the cool thing to do? Rob Zombie does because he’s only gone and done it again with “Mondo Sex Head”, released only a cool thirteen years after his American Made Music to Strip By remix album of tracks from “Hellbilly Deluxe”. The difference here is that the chosen tracks span Zombie’s career from his White Zombie days up to his “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” album from a couple of years back. But do we need it?
Upon first pressing play the answer to that question is probably a solid ‘no’. Opening with the White Zombie classic ‘Thunder Kiss ’65 (JDevil Number of the Beast Remix)’ it could be 1992 all over again (anyone else remember the “Nightcrawlers: The KMFDM Remixes” EP?), although once that main riff chugs over the techno beats it is hard not to raise a nostalgic smile. Later on in the album, ‘More Human Than Human (Big Black Delta Remix)’ offers a totally different take on that 90’s material by taking tiny snippets of the original’s hooks and spreading them out over a stomping dance floor beat that wouldn’t sound out of place on a modern horror movie soundtrack. Maybe there is room for these remixes after all.
Quite surprisingly, it’s the material from the much-derided “Educated Horses” album that exploits the remix format the best. ‘Foxy Foxy (Ki: Theory Remix)’ has loads more depth than the original, with hypnotic piano backing Zombie’s vocals on the verses before the build to the pumping chorus. ‘Lords of Salem (Das Kaptial)’ is also a strange beast, swooping from thudding intro into swaggering groove and back again effortlessly, with Zombie’s rallying cry of “God Hates the Lords of Salem” proving particularly effective over the sonic madness unfolding around it.
As is fairly predictable with albums like this, there are highs and lows when it comes to quality. ‘Let it All Bleed Out (Document One Remix)’ and ‘Living Dead Girl (Photek Remix)’ are typical examples of clichéd dance nonsense that offer nothing that you don’t get from the much more catchy and, in all honesty, more danceable originals.
Proving to have a better ratio of decent remixes than “American Made Music to Strip By”, “Mondo Sex Head” is never going to be essential listening by any means but it does have merit. In a just world a track like the brilliantly catchy ‘Never Gonna Stop (Drumcorps Acid Remix)’ would fill dance floors in clubs all over the country, but how many mainstream clubs play music by Rob Zombie? As it is, those of you who can appreciate this kind of musical mash-up will find plenty here to enjoy on a superficial level but, like nearly all remix albums, it’ll never replace the originals in terms of longevity.