“Touchdown” Troy Bennett Tackles Ministry’s Latest Album, Moral Hygiene
14 YEARS after the end of Ministry, comes yet another new album by “Ministry”!
By TROY BENNETT
I’ve been a MINISTRY fan for quite some time… beginning with hearing “Everyday Is Halloween” on the radio, on Halloween, and that time in like 2000 or 2001 when I purchased the legendary and amazing Ministry album With Sympathy on cassette and rocked it in my Chevy Caprice Classic. (Sadly, I don’t know what ever happened to that tape!) By the mid-2Ks, BADITUDE released a faithful cover rendition of Ministry’s “Revenge” from With Sympathy; meanwhile Ministry themselves were releasing a trilogy of new albums with an anti-George-W-Bush theme and I attended all of the concert events. It was an interesting time.
And then Al Jourgensen was a’sposed to retire Ministry. And then he didn’t. And then Ministry began to release a series of less-than-impressive albums with horrible names and album art, along with ridiculous songs like “99 Percenters”, “Git Up Get Out ‘N Vote”, “AmeriKKKa”, and “Antifa”… not to mention the abysmal acoustic version of “Everyday Is Halloween” in 2019. So things haven’t been looking too hott for Ministry since their “reunion”, for one reason or another. And NOW, in 2021, amidst the forced downfall of society, Ministry releases yet another new album – Moral Hygiene. Oh man. Let’s see what we got here.
Alright, so we got another pun-based album title. You know, like “oral hygiene.” So morality is being parodied, I suppose, considering that the album art is a 1950s-style advertisement illustration of a happy lady holding food products. But the food product labels have been poorly edited, with new labels added:
- “Box of Sanity”
- “Freeze-Dried Opinions”
- “Canned Hope”
I can’t really decipher this. Box of sanity?? Call me insane, but I think there are PLENTY of real consumer products and medications in Current Year that would make for a funny and effective album cover. Hows about a dinner tray overflowing with all kinds of SSRIs? Or maybe an array of sugar-saturated garbage foods that make up the Standard American Diet? Or dare I say… HAND SANITIZER? These REAL things would be far more striking!
And while on the topic of Design, that “thought bubble” graphic looks like shit. Photoshop presets look better than that! Also, the typography ain’t no good. The randomized “punk rock” lettering does NOT fit the ironic aesthetic that is being attempted here. What I’m picking up here is that this album cover design was a conceptual rough draft that somehow (accidentally) became the final product, and the art director is retarded. Bottom line: Another shitty album cover.
FIRST UP, we have the album opener “Alert Level”. As usual, the production quality is good. This is Al Jourgensen’s forte. But the song itself is bumming me out, man. Pessimistic doomsday TV samples of some harridan, and Al shouting “Let’s get ready to die” in his trademark monster voice. BUMMER. And is that GRETA THUNBERG I heard in there?? For fuck’s sake man, I don’t want to hear that little psy-op autist, unless it’s in the form of brutal mockery. I’m not sure what to take away from this first song… Liberals are depressed and obsessed with guilt and shame? They’re getting ready to die? Man, that’s some LOSER shit. “There’s no one to blame but ourselves”, he says. WRONG. I’m not blaming myself for nothin’! I’m an awesome dude. (According to Al, global warming caused the forest fires in California that came close to his house. Haaa!! Obviously, ‘green taxes’ on the Proletariat, via the
New World Order Global Government, will stop those annual California wildfires. Believe The Science.)
The second song, “Good Trouble”, kicks right off with some fast drums and much more energy than “Alert Level”. But then it cools down and starts to feel like Grunge Rock or that one band Korn. And UH OH, is that a harmonica I hear in there? Gross! (Only ONE man is allowed to play the harmonica: Stan Ridgway) So after more bummer lyrics, there are samples of some kinda “civil rights” rally and a “fuck the police” chant. LOL, here we go… Sure enough, the evil “fascists” return to the Ministry lyrical canon. Over the span of 30+ years, Al has offered “critique” of “fascists” in his music, and yet I still do not know exactly who these Fascists are and exactly what they do. (I DO know that “fascists” tend to be the imaginary Boogie Men of communists – I know this because I’ve seen the television programme The Young Ones and am familiar with the Rik character. And there’s also that thing about how Nazis were “National Socialists”, which used the commies’ precious “Socialist” word, so they had to do some damage control to protect their Brand) So yeah, the “Good Trouble” is probably referring to the dysgenic college students who fight with cops in sprawling metropoli in the spirit of “activism”. Formerly known as “hippies”; today they are known as “faggots”.
Third song is an upbeat rocker called “Sabotage Is Sex” and OH NO, is that Jello Biafra?! Well shit, the Gen-X generic political posturing is going to continue. What does “sabotage is sex” mean? I don’t know! Is it a Box of Sanity? Jello says something about “police brutality” because he still thinks that cops pull people over to shoot them, especially if they’re Of Colour. It’s weird how that narrative keeps going strong, even if the act itself is quite rare (almost as rare as nazi punks in your scene). The song ends with an ode to freedom, and I was like YEAH, freedom! But it’s a non-committal form of freedom FROM various concepts that either make sense or don’t. These old punks, I’ll tell ya – they are GREAT with platitudes but offer absolutely zero solutions to the ostensible problems. It’s all so tiresome. BADITUDE, on the other hand, offers the perfect solutions for men: Work out + kick ass.
Fourth up is a catchy number called “Disinformation.” President Donald J. Trump finally makes an appearance in sample form, saying “fake news” as he is wont to do. I kinda like this song; it’s more straight-forward and old-school Ministry. Most of the lyrics are solid, except things like “We can’t go back ’cause the past is dead, We can’t go forward ’cause we’re buried alive”. The past ain’t dead, bro! The commies wanna kill it, but it ain’t dead… We CAN go back. But the FUNNY thing is, Al wants this song to be about “conspiracy theories”, but I interpret it in ways that would make Al cry. To wit: Disinformation is created and spread by mass media conglomerates, in conjunction with intelligence agencies like the CIA, while at the same time we are experiencing more CENSORSHIP than at any point in history. But Al would tell me that’s just a CONSPIRACY THEORY. Poor guy. If he went ALL IN with an anti-disinformation and anti-fake news agenda, he’d be targeted for removal real quick. Anyways, conspiracy theories can be fun, such as the one about the
Global Government NEW WORLD ORDER…
Track 5 is “Search and Destroy”, a cover of The Stooges song. I don’t care about The Stooges because I wasn’t born in the 1960s. Well, Ministry certainly does a lot of cover songs. This one follows suit, and it’s a worthy cover. I’d probably listen to this over the Stooges’ original. At least there are no boneheaded political lyrics in this song, so I’m getting a break.
Up next, we have the 6th track entitled “Believe Me”. Remember Paul Barker? He’s great! Ministry used to have these DOPE basslines thanks to that dude. Paul left the band a long time ago. Anyways, this one feels rather bland; I guess the chorus breaks up the monotony a bit. So there’s this sample that says “the president of the United States” and then Donald Trump says something. Whoa, hol’ up dawg, Trump ain’t the president no more. Earth to Al Jourgensen: The president is a senile old creep called Joe Biden. And there are PLENTY of good samples of that demented guy saying stupid shit. So obviously this is another big anti-Drumpf song, even though Drumpf is gone and there’s a wacky NEW problem that the Entertainment Industry will not touch. The fatigue is so palpable, the lyrics so trite! NEXT!
Alright, track 7, a jam called “Broken System”. The song title alone makes me sigh with exhaustion. What new insight into socio-political decay lies ahead? The answer: Another sampled harridan saying “Life will never be the same”. Yep, the rallying cry of the Eternal Progressive. This track has a little “Eastern Flair” with a psychedelic sitar are whatever the fuck that instrument is… and then it becomes something like a Southern Rock jam meets Killing Joke. Al’s back at it with doomsday prophesies about an uninhabitable planet, talking about blame and shame. And there’s a sample of some fag saying “we’re running out of time to save our planet.” LOL, oh yeah, this nonsense again! And Al sure loves the samples of retards at activist rallies, spewing empty soundbytes. Disinformation / fake news? Nope, not when political activists on MY SIDE shout them! So this song is another fear-mongering anthem that predictably does not lead the listener to solutions, just SHAME. I’m still waiting for talk of reasonable solutions, Al. Like, if the system is so broken, maybe we need to get together and storm the Capitol and… OOPS, NO, THAT WOULD BE THE WORST THING SINCE 9/11. BADITUDE DOES NOT ENDORSE TERRORIST BEHAVIOR. The System is not broken, it is perfectly fine, nothing should change. Next song…
Track 8, “We Shall Resist”. Oooooh man, this is gonna be ROUGH. The bumper sticker on a Toyota Prius, in Ministry song form… the form of a spooky, if sleepy, dirge. I’m gonna go ahead and theorize that this is NOT actually a totally uncreative song that continues to flog the listener with the same boring / socially-approved ideas. NO, this is Al Jourgensen delving into Historical Revisionism, positing a world where the National Socialists defeated the Soviet Union in World War Dos, and Al is part of an underground Marxist resistance force that has been battling the National Socialists for many decades. Kinda like that dumb movie Iron Sky that I didn’t finish. But I digress, for I am spreading disinformation and I should be censored (or killed). “We Shall Resist” is another generic song about “resisting” the true “enemy”, which is “fascists”, set to a downtempo industrial-style song. Man, those extremely powerful Fascists that apparently rule America had better watch out, because our Democracy will defeat their Climate Change plans, once and for all!
Fun fact: Al said this song was originally going to be part of the soundtrack for a doc called Haunted Painting. Unfortunately, the doc sounds interesting and the song would have been at least 1200x better if it were produced for that movie.
Nearing the end, we find “Death Toll”, the 9th track. It’s an uninspired instrumental, aside from samples about
Wuhan Bat Grids Covid-Nineteen. Is this song celebrating a death toll? Once again, I am confuse. The C-19 Cult is so fuckin’ weird, with it’s Armageddon bullshit and preaching and atonement for sins and celebration of the deaths of sinners. Anyways, Front 242’s “Welcome To Paradise” is infinitely better than this song.
FINALLY, we have the last track, “TV Song #6 (Right Around The Corner Mix)”. Again, it’s a jackhammer blast beat speed metal thing, very similar to “TV II” from Psalm 69. Except THIS time, Al can work in some of those crucial Donald J. Trump samples, because Trump is WORSE than W, who was WORSE than George H.W. Bush (each new Republican presidents is exponentially worse than the last, and this is backed by The Science). Upon reflecting on “TV II” from 1992 (an important year in BADITUDE lore)… that song is awesome. “CONNECT THE GODDAMN DOTS”, Al screamed. Too bad the dots cannot be connected anymore, because that is full-blown Conspiracy territory, the connection of “dots” and forming a clear picture based upon seemingly disconnected elements floating around the aether. “TV II” is focused on independent, critical thinking… “Tell me something I don’t know, sell me something I can’t use” i.e. Media disinformation and commercialism (which is the essence of TV). But this new Moral Hygiene album doesn’t care about these things no more. Only a fool would think that a song called “TV Song #6” might make use of and skewer TELEVISION and its lies and its over-the-top consumerism. And what is television in 2021? Well, it’s a fucking catastrophe of nonsense and garbage, sponsored by Pfizer! Television created the meme virus, propagated it and perpetuated it nonstop. Television in 2021 is NOT Donald J. Trump, nor is it Christian preachers. Boy did Al Jourgensen miss the mark on this one! No samples of America’s Doctor Anthony Fauci, eh? But yeah, what a fun way to end the dumb album: A ridiculously myopic “assault” on a world that doesn’t even exist. This song, and perhaps the entire Moral Hygiene album can be summed up as such:
I have a Conspiracy Theory. Al Jourgensen’s brain is damaged, and he is now being used and abused like a puppet by other people because of his VALUE as a particular BRAND (I’m looking at you, owner of Nuclear Blast records, you son of a bitch). I read Al’s autobiography; he should be dead. Somehow he lives on. He’s done really strange things to his face and hides his bald head with fake dreadlocks. His band is a rotating cast of nobodies, like when you see a throwback 80s band with the original singer, and a bunch of 30-year-old rockstar clowns are playing all the instruments. So it is particularly interesting to see how an influential legacy act like MINISTRY has been assimilated by The Borg, only to churn out bullshit for young people that has a SAFE message on par with the exact same ideology that young Democratic politicians preach on their Social Media accounts. This kinda shit is part of a WHOLE THING. It’s a CONSPIRACY. But you can bet dollars to doughnuts that BADITUDE will always be too legit to quit and untoppable and never align with Regime ideology. That is why we will make zero dollars and have 12 fans worldwide. TOP THAT!!
– “Touchdown” Troy Bennett of BADITUDE
THIS RECENTLY HAPPENED:
There is something deeply unsettling about that piece of shit Seth Meyer holding up the album during his late-night television programme on the NBC network. Much to unpack. CONNECT THE GODDAMN DOTS!!!!