Scum of the Earth- Sleaze Freak

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, October 28, 2007

Scum of the Earth was a project originally started by Rob Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs when Zombie took a hiatus from music. After a three year break, this side project is back with Sleaze Freak, the sophomore release from this project comprised of both Zombie and Powerman 5000 contributors. Unfortunately, Riggs must’ve really liked the music he made with Rob Zombie, because Scum of the Earth’s latest release sounds like a near carbon copy of the aforementioned artist circa 2000.

The main issue with this sophomore release is that Scum of the Earth sounds like a perfect clone of Rob Zombie from many years back. From the guitar riffs to the synthesized and rough nature of the vocals, this band just seems to have no distinctive traits that listeners will be able to use to separate them from everything else. Though the riffs are enjoyable, they just scream “generic” which is never a good sign. One element that I do like about Sleaze Freak is how when the instrumentalists are given the chance to solo, they truly do make the best of it.

What also slightly hurts Scum of the Earth is that Riggs sounds extremely close to Rob Zombie when singing. His voice has a similar harshness and rough edge to it and it doesn’t help the group that they use the same kind of synthesizers on their vocals as Zombie uses on his. The lyrical content is absurd as one would expect, with song titles such as I Am Monster and Devilscum. Overall the vocals aren’t bad, but they have nothing to make Scum of the Earth distinguishable.

Sleaze Freak also comes with a DVD that chronicles the making of the record and includes a live performance, but only listeners who can truly get into this album will appreciate it. While there is nothing remotely bad about Scum of the Earth’s sophomore effort, it is going to take a unique sound to propel them to where they need to be. For now they are nothing more than a near carbon copy of Rob Zombie, and that’s not going to put Scum of the Earth at the top of listener’s lists anytime soon.

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