Seeing that it is self-described as a “giant baseball bat to Godzilla’s ugly maw,” it goes without saying that there is a level of satire at play in Zombie Motor Wrecking Yard’s (ZMWY) debut album, Supersonic Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sadly, although the band claims to emulate B-movies and campy sci-fi, but these promises remain unfulfilled for the majority of the album, creating a stoner rock performance that feels half-baked.
In the first half of the album the band goes all out, with songs about bone-hunting witches, interstellar infidelity, and a clichéd love for speed. The guitar crunches along with gritty riffs accompanied by a rolling beat from the drums and a front and centre groove from the bass. ZMWY rarely deviate from this strategy, but their pomp and bombast distracts from the lack of texture. For the early tracks, the speed and energy of the music demands attention and distracts from the singer’s inane ramblings about “the gloryhole of life.” The track “Galactic Motherfucker” features a spacey intro straight from the 80s that builds up the promised sci-fi mood, but is the only sign of lasers or space exploration in the album and is an early warning of the approaching disappointment.
As the second half of the album kicks off, the energy and excitement fizzles out immediately. The title track explains it best as its lyrics directly feature masturbation; the band blew their load early. The back half of Supersonic Rock ‘n’ Roll slows its tempo to a near crawl – a staple of the stoner genre – that feels forced and lacks any purpose or interest. With all momentum lost, the album squeaks to its eventual conclusion, leaving only confusion and a wonder as to where all the zany, off-the-wall excitement went.
Supersonic Rock ‘n’ Roll is the Sharknado of music as it shamelessly attempts to exploit the category of “so bad, it’s good.” The problem with ZMWY’s strategy is that they forgot a key element, subtlety. They trekked out to create a performance on the grounds of all things ridiculous and screwball, but it looks like halfway through the construction someone lost the blueprints and the remainder was tacked together with a lack of inspiration and traces of wishful thinking. While the album shows great promise at first, demonstrating a clear acceptance of the band’s cheesy nature and delivering it with character and attitude, they stray away from this and end with a half-hearted and unconvincing performance. There is some hilariously good material on Supersonic Rock ‘n’ Roll, but the off-putting gear shift cripples the album. It’s worth listening to for the solid intro, but the flaccid conclusion is best avoided.