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Mr Jim Beam lends a helping hand... - 74%

zeingard, September 11th, 2007

An empty bucket of KFC chicken sits on an improvised desk in a shabby, but rather spacious room in a West Australian residential college, the occupant is currently sitting at his computer. Rather 'tipsy', as the colloquialism goes, his demeanor is full of swagger thanks to the Jim Beam coursing through his veins. With the Jim Beam finished he moves onto the cheaper, but just as an efficient scotch by the name of Black Douglas. His mouse trails across the screen, he marvels at its passage and finds its home at the icon for Foobar; He loads up Ministry's latest and last album into the playlist. A sip of the potent alcoholic beverage as he steadies himself to listen to this album for yet another time, the number has been lost since it's inception into his musical collection.

A simple but effective sample breaks the silence, a sigh of relief is let out as it's realised that unlike its predecessor this is not just another President Bush 'cut-paste' sample, nor is it directly aimed at him. Before the surprise can wear off the air is permeated by a one-two punch of biting and powerful guitars pumping out a simple but effective thrash riff, "Let's Go" is a fitting title. Distorted vocals kick in; they lack the political vitriol of the predecessor... could this be a change of heart? Another sip of alcoholic beverage is taken in as a means to remind himself of reality, at this point the volatile mixture is starting to become bearable, if not comforting. The thrash break is welcome with a tasteful use of harmonics, much more tasteful than the temporary desk setup currently existing in the middle of the room; a shelf removed from the wall unit balanced precariously on a wheeled set of drawers, held in place by only 'blu-tac'. THEN FUCKING BAM! Out of nowhere! Fast and sharp lead work, the legato is flawless and flows with little regard for being clean, in other words it’s fucking metal as.

A palm rises to the reviewer's face, he can feel the desire to continue this horrendously trivial and rather uninspired track-by-track review but dare he? Once the second track, "Watch Yourself" kicks in he feels less and less inclined towards actually giving a shit about the song. It's slower and the afterglow of the last track is starting to fade as the desire to thrash recedes timidly. Screw it, the music is moved from the headphones to the speakers and the reviewer makes his way to the balcony to have a smoke break. The air is still somewhat cold despite the season moving steadily into spring, smoke trails into the air flowing from laminar to turbulence in mere milliseconds proving far more interesting than the current track and even more so than the proceeding track. A sigh erupts, the cigarette draws closer and closer to the end of its life as a decent groove heavy riff emerges from the speakers drawing upon the interest of the delinquent on the balcony he shouldn't be smoking on. "Run run run Cheney's got a gun", hilarious he muses. The cigarette is stubbed out and thrown into the gutter and he moves inside, plugs in the headphones. Title tracks usually contain some of the best work of an album, but alas he sips quietly and awaits something to grab his attention.

"Greed...Power...Corruption" and then thrash! A fast and energetic song bursts forth, a thrash riff materialises from the headphones unexpectedly with little to no remorse for the eardrums of the listener! Headbanging ensues with great vigor, finally a song with speed and intensity! Despite being a shorter song it proceeds to shred half way through and continues on its destructive path, truly a masterpiece of a moment. However at its end a frown comes upon the face of the reviewer; "A bush oriented sample? Not again..." alas these doubts are obliterated as yet another thrash riff blasts through! Impressive! Twice in a row? This album slowly begins to redeem itself with it's homage to 80's thrash in a way the bands originating from that scene wish they still could. In true thrash style a solo flows in right after the first chorus and does a nice job overall, could be longer but of course the band does hold some sort of obligation to pumping out lyrics demonising America and it's political scene thus an extended solo would only steal the lime-light. Like the previous track it's over all too fast.

At this point the alcohol has the best of him, the thrash rendition of a Doors' song passes him by and whilst impressive does throw him off in the midst of his alcoholic conundrum. A punkish riff assaults his ears as his head lies still on the desk in front of him whilst Burton C. Bell belts out lyrics he can no longer distinguish, it's upbeat and fun, resurrecting his ethanol form somewhat readily. The middle solo is fast and furious with simple form, and the chorus rings out for a final time in the last few moments; "Live fast, die in a crash".

As the final two tracks rear their head he decides the next 13 minutes can be spent out on the balcony again, the speakers are plugged back in and the lighter's flame sparks up. Was this 13 minutes worth ending the album on? For the most part it's dry and repetitive and is no better than the track "Khyber Pass" on their previous album. A long diatribe starts to be read out half way through the last track, this isn't as much an epic track as a waste of time he thinks. As the track closes he stubs out his third cigarette and downs the last of the scotch-coke mix, all he can muster in his thoughts is:

"I wish I could think of a witty spin on the album title that incorporates the word inconsistent"