Sinister Urge (Book Review)
Released: 2015, Backbeat Books
As McIver snaps at the heels of Popoff trying to claim the title of most prolific Metal writer, he comes one step closer with another new title SINISTER URGE.
Robert Cummings aka Rob Zombie is one of the more successful Hard Rock/Heavy Metal artists with a musical career spanning a few decades successfully bringing the gap between the new and the classic. The nice looking hard cover runs about 275 pages long and has about 20 photos printed on glossy plates. As always McIvers styles flows easily make it a fun and engaging read.
Zombie, by his own account had a fairly ‘normal’ upbringing in the US, school, comics, and lots and lots of TV. There are no stories of abuse or running away or any of that, he seems to have a stable life which is likely one of the major reasons he has become such a hard working and successful business-man…yes, businessman, because like it or not Metal, and horror movies are a business.
SINISTER URGE follows the traditional linear narrative, covering his early childhood, his move to New York and the his times living in semi-poverty working hard in the fledgling ‘noise rock’ scene. He always seemed to have his head screwed on right, avoiding the stumbling stones of addiction and other craziness.
We follow his career, his break into movies but at times I felt there was a little bit of padding. There were long sequences by McIver that seemed to go off topic as the author opined as various topics, (which for the record I completely agreed with) but at one pint there is a seven page opinion piece on censorship of music and the history rock in America, which seemed out of place. Perhaps I am too harsh and maybe some readers will find value and context of the history lesson of Elvis in relation to the challenges faced by Zombie 40 years later.
In terms of detail about the career of Mr. Zombie, it is all present, the TV shows, the books, the comics, the animated series, the films, and an album-by-album breakdown of both White Zombie and his solo career. The man is a multi-media sensation. Horror fans will revel in the excellent detail about Zombies film career and these were some of the parts I found most revealing and interesting.
In my final assessment, I really enjoyed SINISTER URGE but I wish we had just a bit more personal information about the semi-enigmatic and private figure of Mr. Zombie. That can’t be the fault of McIver, he can only work what he is given and if Zombie was tight-lipped about his private life and foibles then this will have to stand as the definitive account and testament to one of the hard-working and multi-talented rocker. This book was lucky because I have been on a bit of a Rob Zombie kick lately revisiting some albums so the timing is perfect.