On Friday February 2nd the Rock ’n’ Roll world was saddened the passing of “Brother” Wayne Kramer, founding member and guitarist of the legendary, influential Detroit band the MC5. Issued on Black Friday, 2023 via Saustex Records Call Me Animal: A Tribute to the MC5 was never intended as a send-off for Brother Wayne, but his untimely passing makes its recent release feel even more serendipitous. Conceived by Joey “Joecephus” Killingsworth, the album was several years in the making with his band/collective Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre and his production partner Dik LeDoux. Kramer himself participated in the project, laying down a smoking version of “Human Being Lawnmower” with Jello Biafra.
Anyone who has ever screamed along to every word of Boysetsfire‘s biggest anthem “Rookie” knows Nathan Gray can deliver messaging, intensity and hooks in equal parts, but only until recently they weren’t living their full truth showing all the facets of themself to the public. After backing Nathan on a sort of solo-band journey of self-discovery, newer project The Iron Roses have found their full potential as well under their own name and elevating everyone (all six!) to equal prominence on one of the most jubilant, socially potent and catchy punk records you’ll ever hear.
My chief concern heading into Funeral Chic’s Roman Candle (Prosthetic Records) is that the name Funeral Chic is very unappealing. It’s objectively a bad name for a band. It feels like a moniker Johnny Depp would give to one of his musical projects. Brings back memories of another Depp-associated collective, Hollywood Vampires. Yeah, I’d like a ticket to go see Jack Sparrow, Joe Perry and golf enthusiast Alice Cooper walk around onstage, Mr. Box Office. Continue reading
Ministry has shared a new music video for the song “Sabotage is Sex” from last years’ album Moral Hygene. The track and video features Jello Biafra, in his first music video appearance ever. Jello and Al Jorgenson had an industrial/punk side project in the late 1980s, LARD. Created by director Joel Smith of Mad Minute Productions (previous work includes Activision, Audi, Black Eyed Peas, U2, The X Games), you can watch the video now!
When Brazilian thrash legends Sepultura parted ways with frontman Max Cavalera in 1996, many thought that would be the end of the road. An acrimonious divorce that seemed to favour neither party, the remaining members auditioned several well known musicians before eventually choosing Ohio born Derrick Green as the man to replace the outgoing Cavalera brother.
It’s hard to believe that industrial legends Ministry have been around (in one incarnation or another) for forty years but here they are in 2021, returning with their fifteenth full length studio album. Another title including amusing wordplay, Moral Hygiene (Nuclear Blast Records) is yet another solid release by Al Jourgensen and co. and features a few surprises along the way.
Arriving in 1989 towards the tail end of the thrash metal scene, San Francisco act Mordred may have only been together for five years but showed more invention and innovation in that time than some bands achieved over a much longer period.
Legendary Ministry side project 1000 Homo DJs that put out a series of singles in the 1990s will release a special 12-inch vinyl single on July 2nd. Most famous for the track “Supernaut” later heard on the Black Sabbath tribute covers album Nativity In Black, 1000 Homo DJs was comprised of 1990s Ministry core members Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Mike Sciacca (RIP), Bill Rieflin (RIP), and a whos who of Chicago Wax Trax era industrial, post-Punk, and punk rock legends, most notably Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor and Dead Kennedy’s frontman Jello Biafra. You can pre-order the limited edition EP on purple vinyl due out on July 2nd from Ministry’s Bandcamp page. The release features both versions of “Supernaut” with Al and Trent on lead vocals, including all the remixes of the track.
Dead Cross is currently halfway through their U.S. headlining run, and they had a special surprise in store for their fans in Berkeley, California last night. Continue reading
After the death of Ministry bandmate Mike Scaccia in 2012, the band’s frontman and former walking heroin and alcohol repository Al Jourgensen came to the decision that, after one last release, it was time he retired the Ministry name from active recording duty, keeping the band alive solely as a touring entity.
So, after the release of final studio album ‘From Beer To Eternity’ (AFM, 13th Planet), and with the aid of engineer Sam D’Ambruoso, work began on a brand new project. The eponymously titled début, Surgical Meth Machine’(Nuclear Blast) is the result, and anyone foolish enough to wonder if age or recent events might possibly have led to Uncle Al calming down or mellowing out is going to be in for quite a rude awakening.
Listening to Surgical Meth Machine is like having an aggressive, urine-soaked vagrant grabbing you by the collar and shrieking random shards of broken-toothed, spittle-flecked abuse into your face through cracked, vomit encrusted lips for forty horrifyingly disorienting minutes.
The ranting begins with ‘I’m Sensitive’, which, after a sarcastic opening monologue, bursts into life with all the actual sensitivity of a breeze block as Al screams ‘I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!’ at the top of his lungs. The jagged tirades continue with the Ministry-esque ‘Tragic Alert’ which climaxes with some stupidly fast electronic beats, and things continue in the same vein with ‘I Want More’ as the drum machine really starts to panic.
More bile is spewed as Jourgensen demands ‘Rich People Problems”, and although he clearly doesn’t need any help getting his feelings across, he enlists the help of an equally irritated Jello Biafra on ‘I Don’t Wanna’. “Blah blah blah blah blah!” barks Al on ‘Smash and Grab’ and by now, you really want him to leave you alone.
Things get seriously demented with the aptly titled ‘Unlistenable’ as the poor drum machine finally suffers a complete nervous breakdown and goes to sit in the corner and cry before the boisterous punk of ‘Gates of Steel’ bounces its way into the room like Andrew WK covering Black Flag‘s ‘TV Party’.
Things taper off sharply with ‘Spudnik’ and ‘Just Go Home’, all widdly guitars, drum machines and samples, but with all the impact of a rambling alcoholic losing his way halfway through a sentence. ‘I’m Invisible’ rounds things off. A very different, trippy, but strangely compelling track which sounds like a 3am drive with Timothy Leary and Hunter S Thompson.
With both feet still planted firmly in Ministry territory, Jourgensen shows no real interest in wanting to change or update his sound. If you enjoyed his particular brand of fast, obnoxious, Industrial noise before, then the chances are that this will float your boat just as much. If you want growth or innovation, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. But something tells me Uncle Al doesn’t give one single, solitary fuck about that.
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