New York City goth rockers Type O Negative have always been a scary proposition. Though the band, led by bassist singer Pete Steele, often uses irony and humor to poke fun at the goth genre, to the casual ear (i.e., parents) Type O sounds like the kind of group who retires to a torture cave and sacrifices lambs after its set is over. That perception is not helped any by Steele
's vampire vocals and bent for the morbid, even if he can be tongue-in-cheek at times. The Least Worst Of
, aside from being a great title, is a career retrospective that includes favorites handpicked by the band, as well as a few new tracks to boot. The group's one brush with the charts, "Black No. 1," is included, but so are obscure tracks such as "Hey Pete," a death metal remake of Hendrix's "Hey Joe" that sees the narrator employing an axe to exact revenge on his cheating girl. And the group's penchant for offbeat covers (they once did Seals & Crofts
' "Summer Breeze") is also carried on with an industrial version of Neil Young
's "Cinammon Girl," a track that appeared on October Rust
, the group's 1996 bid for a chart success that never quite materialized. New tracks such as "It's Never Enough" find the group experimenting with upbeat tempos and more energized riffs, but Steele's trademark moan is every bit as present as before and, after hearing all their old faves, fans of the band will be made happy all over again by the new stuff.