Beasto Blanco is a project from longtime Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric, and it’s unashamed to be simply another metal band. Garric says, “Beasto Blanco is not about reinventing the wheel, we’re all about giving ’em cool rims!” I can respect that, and after listening to this sophomore self-titled release, I would agree that no new wheels were invented in the making of this record. So, I guess that leaves the question of how great the rims are.
You have to give this record a chance to show its stripes. When you take the first few tracks for a spin you might write Beasto off as a White Zombie knockoff. I get it. I mean, the similarities are endless, right down to the band name, which you could translate to mean White Beast. Zombie even had a bass player by the name of Blasko. But, if you can get past all that and accept Garric’s Rob Zombie-like growl and the “Superbeast Psycho Funny Car” themes, this is a well written set of songs. In fact, this album is just as good as any Rob Zombie release of the past 10 years.
You might expect Garric to infuse some of his Alice Cooper experience here, but it really isn’t something that’s present in these songs. Even though he does a cover of the Cooper hit “Feed My Frankenstein” and has Alice’s daughter Calico Cooper in the band, the audible influence ends there. Even his version of “Feed My Frankenstein” doesn’t really sound anything like the original. Rob Zombie is the glaring similarity here, but it’s not the only influence that you might hear. I do get a bit of an Alice In Chains feel from “Dark Matter” and “Carcosa,” and my favorite song on the record (“Damnation”) reminds me of Clutch. So, although songs like “Honey,” the lead off track of the album (“Buried Angels”) and others sound eerily similar to Zombie, they’re legitimately good songs and not the only thing offered.
Instrumentation and production is excellent, and there is a lot to like here if you’re a fan of Rob Zombie. If you’ve been waiting for Zombie to make a record with a substantial amount of good material and have been disappointed as of late, give this one a try. You might not only find a temporary substitute in Beasto Blanco, you just might find a replacement.