White Zombie – It Came From N.Y.C. Review

Numero Group
Numero Group

White Zombie exploded on the scene with 1993’s La Sexorcisto and their trademark single “Thunder Kiss ’65.” Even though that was their big breakthrough, White Zombie were not overnight sensations. They released a few EPs and albums in the ’80s, which have been gathered in the 3CD collection It Came From N.Y.C.

The set is in chronological order, beginning with 1985’s Gods On Voodoo Moon EP. It was independently released and is the only White Zombie release with Paul “Ena” Kostabi (guitar) and Peter Landau (drums). In addition to the four songs originally released, it has two other tracks previously only available on cassette.

There are also four previously unreleased songs from 1986 along with the two tracks from Pig Heaven. The 1987 EP Psycho-Head Blowout is the other release on the collection’s first CD.

The second disc includes White Zombie’s 1987 full-length debut Soul Crusher, with the third disc containing 1989’s Make Them Die Slowly album and 1989’s God Of Thunder EP.

In addition to the music, It Came From N.Y.C. is accompanied by a more than 100 page book that includes the story of White Zombie’s early days along with previously unpublished photos and a t-shirtography.

The 39 songs give an interesting insight into White Zombie’s musical evolution. They started out playing punk influenced noise rock, and Rob Zombie was known as Rob Straker. The early material is raw and even sloppy at times. That included their full-length debut Soul Crusher, which received favorable reviews and the admiration of fellow musicians including Kurt Cobain.

Make Them Die Slowly saw White Zombie’s sound moving away from noise rock and toward the heavy metal sound that would lead to their commercial breakthrough a few years later. The production is subpar, but this transitional album would pave the way for bigger and better things. That musical evolution is even more evident on the three songs on the God Of Thunder EP that wrap up the 3 CD set.

It Came From N.Y.C. collects White Zombie’s hard to find early material in one place, plus includes some unreleased tracks that makes it worthwhile for pretty much all White Zombie fans.

(released June 3, 2016 by Numero Group)

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