Ministry releases latest album and keeps old sound

By Emmett Overbey

Yikes—They’re back!

Ministry’s got a new album, and the kids at Medusa’s are gonna love it.

Ministry has a bizzare track record. Their early albums, “Twitch” and “With Sympathy” (which was a Human League nightmare) established the name Ministry. Their assorted and eventually compiled singles (bop_bop) got them dance club airplay and a few beer commercials.

Then, in 1988, frontman Al Jourgensen got angry and Ministry released “The Land of Rape and Honey,” on which, for reasons unknown, they suddenly became a hardcore/speedmetal/dance club/thrash band.

Levelling off onto an uncharacteristic plateau of consistency, Ministry has now released “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste” on Sire/Warner Brothers. There’s not too much to say about this album. To me, it sounds just like their last one which, I confess, I neither liked nor listened to more than twice.

It’ll sell, of course. Al’s Wax Trax affiliations have created a huge following for all those dime-a-dozen industrial dance bands. Giving Al the benefit of the doubt, Ministry does come across as more polished and distinctive than the rest. On the other hand, even when it’s polished and distinctive, nerve-gratingly monotonous noise is still obnoxious.

This album will also be a big seller thanks to the Tipper-Gore-Reverse-Psychology factor. It comes handy with one of those Explict Lyrics Advisory stickers which supposedly repulses shoppers who are easily offended.

If you liked “The Land of Rape and Honey,” you’re sure to like this one. As far as I can tell, it’s the same album with a new cover and a new name, but maybe that’s just me. If you’re a Ministry fan, a dance club patron, or a member of the progressive/industrial avante-garde, you won’t be disappointed with “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.”

If you don’t fall into any of the above categories, you might want to find something a bit more sedate to blow your allowance on.