Hot off the Press

Beasto Blanco | Live Fast Die Loud

by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist —

Beasto Blanco Live Fast Die LoudMuch hubbub abounds about the fact that Johnny Depp blessed this album with his stamp of approval. Problem is, Depp also claimed The Lone Ranger was a good movie.

Well, he got one out of two right.

Live Fast Die Loud is a good album. It never crosses the line into greatness, but sometimes you need to enjoy things for what they are, not what you wish they were. For the uninitiated, Beasto Blanco is the side project of Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric, who apparently really, really, REALLY likes Rob Zombie. Because that is what this album sounds like—Rob Zombie worship, the sonic punch occasionally spiked with some Cooper and Motorhead.

The saving grace of this derivativeness is that Beasto Blanco do Zombie better than Zombie himself by bringing a heavier sound to the proceedings and enhancing the hooks. The band doesn’t always slam it out of the park—sometimes those coveted hooks just fail to materialize—but when they get it right, they’re typically superior to much of what Zombie has been releasing lately.

Of course, naysayers will point at Beasto Blanco’s pilfering from Zombie’s musical toolbox as justification to form a negative opinion of the band. To counter, point out that just because you eat a Big Mac at one McDonalds does not mean you never eat a Big Mac at a different McDonalds. A Big Mac is a Big Mac regardless of who cooked it.

Skip past the handful of dullard tracks and the rest of the album is quite good. “Vegas” is the best o’ the bunch, industrial-tinged hard rock that gets your head banging and your blood pumping in tune with the buzz-saw guitars. The title track unleashes a nasty riff that jackhammers your senses and prepares you for an anthemic chorus with a simple yet effective hook. “Motor Queen” finds the aforementioned Motorhead influence revving into high gear, the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of injecting nitrous oxide into high-octane fuel. You’ll blow your speakers and maybe your ears as well. That’s not a warning, that’s praise.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, fans of Rob Zombie will be fans of Beasto Blanco. It’s not an album you can’t exist without, but not every album needs to give you a cochlear orgasm to have merit. This may be the hard rock equivalent of fast food, tasty enough in the moment but with minimal lasting value, but everyone indulges in fast food once in awhile. If nothing else, at least we know that if Rob Zombie perished tomorrow, there is someone out there more than capable of taking his place. So if you can’t find your copy of Hellbilly Deluxe, just grab Live Fast Die Loud instead … you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Genre: Hard Rock, Metal

Chuck Garric (vocals, bass)
Chris Latham (guitar)
Jonathan Mover (drums)
Tiffany Lowe (synths, vocals)
Calico Cooper (vocals)

Track Listing
1. Ill Nostro Spirito
2. Beasto Blanco
3. Blood Shot
4. California
5. Breakdown
6. Vegas
7. Motor Queen
8. Freak
9. Beg To Differ
10. Live Fast Die Loud
11. No More Man

Label: Rat Pak Records


Hardrock Haven rating: 7.7/10