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70's Rock Must Die - EP

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Album Review

You wouldn't think Jello Biafra would attempt something as anathematizing to him as a turgid, seven-minute '70s rock anthem. But the hilarious title track shows he will go just about anywhere to make an acrid comment. No kidding, you could slip this baby on any urban classic rock station and the mindless headbangers would eat up its Stones-Aerosmith-Zep-AC/DC cock rock riff like mice who don't notice the trap around the cheese — until the steel-trap surprise lyrics slam into them! (And even hard rock fans who never notice ridiculously awful metal lyrics won't be able to escape the hysterical chorus refrain.) Biafra even dons a plausible Axl Rose voice for the occasion. In fact, this sendup is so good, a thousand '80s hair bands in headbands, leopard-skin pants, and muscle T-shirts spring to mind like an outbreak of styling mousse plague. But whereas Spinal Tap was just for cackles, Biafra's loathing is obvious. He decries the ceaseless perpetuation of the vapid rock caricature that punk bands like Biafra's Dead Kennedys meant to crush, while lamenting that the opposite has since occurred. In any case, this is drop-dead funny. As for the rest, "Volcanus 2000 (We Wipe the World)" returns Lard to its original 1988 industrial footing provided by collaborator Al Jourgensen of Ministry, slinging a similar sneer at all the self-conscious, neo-satanic slummers who want to be the next Nine Inch Nails. The "mountains of trash" in the coda sound too real to anyone who has seen the stink and odious rot of landfill on Staten Island, or gotten a whiff downstream of a passing garbage barge. But it could just as easily refer to your average record reviewer's daunting, decrepit new-CD pile. Finally, "Ballad of Marshall Ledbetter" is a fine metallic-industrial stomper.


Formed: 1988 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Lard is one of several sometime-side projects helmed by the Ministry duo of Al Jourgensen (guitar) and Paul Barker (bass) -- in this case, notably fronted by legendary Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, along with, initially, drummer Jeff Ward. Founded in 1988, Lard was first brought to the public's attention via the following year's The Power of Lard EP, and even more so by 1990's inaugural full-length The Last Temptation of Reid. Both featured a unique blend of industrial and punk, matched with...
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70's Rock Must Die - EP, Lard
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