No Bushes to Beat
Al broke up Ministry and then he died (for a minute or two) but then he came back to life and now he’s brought Ministry back too. They made a record. It’s called “Relapse”. How is it? Not all that great. Why? Glad you asked.
Basically, Al as Ministry has been doing the same ungodly-loud, pile-driving speed-metal track again and again since Dubya first took office. It all (mostly) worked for me through both Dubya terms as soundtracks for my anger and frustration with pretty much everything that happened during those eight years. Ask Al and he’ll tell you: Both Bushes, father and son, have served as his greatest muses over Ministry’s lifespan; in fact, both have been sound-sampled and used so often by Al over the years, they might well consider themselves band members, but I’m digressing… what Ministry was doing during that time was mostly effective in terms of loud, aggressive protest.
So what happened? Listen, the aggression is still there, the band plays like a towering Howitzer, but the writing is 100% free of any sort of finesse and blunts any possible edges. Just check the song titles: “Kleptocracy” and “99 Percenters” are obvious and clumsy shots at Wall Street, “Bloodlust” goes after societal deterioration. There are a few rally numbers like “United Forces” (with lines like, “It doesn’t matter how you wear your hair, it’s what’s inside your head”, no kidding) and (get this) “Git Up Get Out N’ Vote”. Read that Ministry song title again:
It’s that terrible, and the rest of it is Al bitching about managers, the music industry, assorted addictions, and so on. Without a Bush to beat, Al Jourgensen’s 2012 version of Ministry sounds uninspired.