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51sdVI1QO5L. SL500 AA300 Something odd happened last Fall in the world of ROB ZOMBIE. The PR department at GEFFEN/UNIVERSAL had ramped up in preparation for the release of HELLBILLY DELUXE 2: NOBLE JACKALS, PENNY DREADFULS, AND THE SYSTEMATIC DEHUMANIZATION OF COOL and then came the abrupt announcement that Zombie was leaving his longtime label in favor of a deal with ROADRUNNER through their LOUD & PROUD imprint. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that something went down, and while my sources have filled me in on what is best-left-unspoken, you can be sure that one outcome of that divorce was the recent release of ROB ZOMBIE: ICON.

The double-disc set released via Geffen/Universal Music as a Best Buy Exclusive on August 31st packs 24-songs into a bargain-priced $9.99 set, while a 12-track single-disc edition is available as a Wal-Mart exclusive for just $7 bucks. Touted by the official press release as “revising as well as updating his previous collections,” neither set offers anything that Zombie fans don’t already own.

Like the 2003 release PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE and 2007’s 20th CENTURY MASTERS: THE BEST OF ROB ZOMBIE, ICON collects tracks from Zombie’s solo work, along with his early days as the leader of WHITE ZOMBIE. When speaking of the latter, 2008’s excellent WHITE ZOMBIE: LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE Box Set is the way to go, as the repeated release of these “collections” is nothing but clutter.

Curiously (divorce court), a handful of tracks from the Roadrunner-released HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 are included here with “What?,” “Sick Bubblegum,” and “Mars Needs Women” included. Even more curious is the album artwork, which seems to mimic the look of the forthcoming HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 SPECIAL EDITION CD/DVD set that Zombie’s new label will release on September 28th.

The only good use for ICON is as a tool for new listeners that may not have had a chance to acquire the extensive back catalog of all-things-zombie, or as a required piece for completists to have sitting on their shelves. I’m a longtime Zombie fan, and while I may have been hard on his latest album (it’s really grown on me), I always look forward to his creative output, whether it be music, film, or comics. That said, constant releases like this one are insulting on many levels, and sans a lone tweet on the 31st, I tend to think that Rob Zombie himself might agree. ICON is suspiciously omitted from his official website, official store, and there’s no mention of it on his frequently updated MySpace blog.

Look at the cover – the poor guy looks like his head hurts from having to deal with this shit.

THE MUSIC: 5/5 Stars


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