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The Last Sucker

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With The Last Sucker Al Jourgensen not only brings his anti-Bush Jr trilogy of albums to a close, but he also shutters the Ministry band/project/death machine for good. Of course Ministry has always been a free-flowing thing — a dark synth pop outfit that eventually morphed into an aggressive, guitar-heavy beast with a few genre jumps in-between. Jourgensen's side project Revolting Cocks could have been mistaken for Ministry on their 2006 album Cocked and Loaded so there's a good chance that whatever this crazed Texan throws his name on might as well be Ministry, barring any future side projects that are as far out as Acid Horse or Lard. Ministry fans are really Jourgensen fans, but it's the name recognition that gives the announcement some weight, especially in the U.S., the country that re-elected "that guy." With that in mind, The Last Sucker is a jettisoning of all that was big and in-your-face-American about Ministry with little of the hot rod worship or unabashed gluttony of earlier albums. They still sound huge, they still sound like Jourgenson on a rampage, but gone is the ironic redneck idiocy — too close to home, maybe — and even the balls out cover of "Roadhouse Blues" is announced with "All I wanna do is get my kicks before this whole sh*thouse goes up in flames." Jourgensen's covers are usually all-party time, but this album holds no hope for and finds no joy in America and expresses it brilliantly. Samples lifted from Bush Jr speeches had been a staple for seven years by the time The Last Sucker rolled around, but "Death and Destruction" takes a cackle from the President and sonically manipulates it into one of the most unsettling laughs on record. Many more effective moments come from the lyrics and their delivery as Jourgenson screams out tales of young men dying for nothing ("No Glory") and a President out of touch with not only the average American's experience, but also the human experience ("The Last Sucker"). Book ending this pummeling set of bleak songs are two of the best Ministry efforts to date. First is "Let's Go" which is "Jesus Built My Hotrod" remarkably amped-up with Jourgensen absolutely shredding on guitar. At the end is the epic "End of Days, Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2" featuring Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell along with a lengthy sample of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell speech — the "Military-Industrial Complex" one. Jourgensen is exiting with his greatest idea ever and the most layered Ministry moment on record, but thinking about the loss of the band is nearly impossible when listening to this world unto its own. Within these walls there's only mourning for the better America Jourgenson sees as just about gone. It may slowly be stolen by corporate, Bush-supporting thieves in the night, but with The Last Sucker, Ministry goes out in a blaze of glory.


Bildades: 1981 i Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Aktiva år: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Until Nine Inch Nails crossed over to the mainstream, Ministry did more than any other band to popularize industrial dance music, injecting large doses of punky, over-the-top aggression and roaring heavy metal guitar riffs that helped their music find favor with metal and alternative audiences outside of industrial's cult fan base. That's not to say Ministry had a commercial or generally accessible sound: they were unremittingly intense, abrasive, pounding, and repetitive, and not always guitar-oriented...
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