Well, the end of the name anyway. I picked up my copy of The Last Sucker today and gave it a spin. Just to give a clear picture here and acknowledge my bias - I miss Paul Barker's involvement in Ministry, I was a huge fan of Lead Into Gold and really liked what Paul brought to the Filth Pig/Dark Side../Animo.. lps. Not that I don't enjoy Psalm 69 or the thrash-y metal vibe of the post Paul LPs either. For me, Psalm 69's excellence lay in it's half thrash side & half slow heavy noisey side. It didn't go overboard in either direction. Houses of the Mole was quite good in retrospec compared to Rio Grande Blood + The Last Sucker, in keeping the balanced vibe, instead of going heavily into straight speed metal. Okay? Good.
So here's what's really chaffing me about The Last Sucker - the opening tracks actually (Let's Go, Watch Yourself and Life Is Good) are for the most part, really fucking good. But after that, this album spins off into re-hashed, re-heated shit. =(
Much has been made of Al's anti-bush lyrics over the 'trilogy'. For the most part it's been enjoyable mindless ranting along, kinda like old punk records vs. Reagan. N.W.O. is all I can recall Psalm 69 featuring against Bush, Sr. So I'm not sure why Al decided to go so hard in this direction lyrically. Overkill IMO.
So the other part is the music and here's where (baring the opening songs) The Last Sucker fails badly. It's not recorded poorly (altho it's mastered fucking loud enough) but really after one listen thru, I can pick out songs that are RECYCLED riffs.
Seriously, for the last gasp of a once great machine, that's all you got? UGH. No Glory has a riff that quotes Lies, Lies, Lies but sped-up that takes over after an good intro. Die In A Crash nicks the riff from Black Flag's 'American Waste'. End of Days opens with a riff that's nicked as well, from Cop Shoot Cop.
At least the Doors cover is oddly good and makes me think of a car chase with open liqour. And the album ends with End of Days part II, a nod to the non-thrash other road that Ministry used to tread on as well.Even with a useless guitar solo stuffed in between the verses, this track is actually a very nice end-cap.
the best 5 cuts on this and the best 5 cuts on Rio Grande Blood could have easily been an excellent final send off, too bad Al felt he had to make an artistic 'statement' by doing a trilogy instead of letting Houses stand alone and make one 'anti-bush' album.
I heard "Die in a Crash" yesterday and I thought it an okay pop/metal type of track that might stand up to 2 or 3 listens before becoming annoying, not great but not as bad as that awful wannabe thrash from the previous abysmal Ministry record...
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