Wish You Were Queer: A Tribute to Ministry – Volume 1
Another Prick in the Wall: A Tribute to Ministry – Volume 2
Quite why two volumes were necessary, I’m not sure, though I did get two excellent Meg Lee Chin numbers out of the whole deal, so who’s complaining? Let’s see here, Invisible head fella Martin Atkins drums for Ministry during the epochal tour immortalized in the In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up album/video, and now, years later, he returns the favor with a double shot of tribute albums? I’m confused. This could be a loving tribute from dedicated fans of Ministry’s music, but doesn’t a tribute album make them seem a little dinosaur-ish? The first step towards the old folks home of “industrial” (current population: Cabaret Voltaire, Test Department, and the bald guy from Nitzer Ebb). I digress.
Volume 1 opens with Ms. Chin’s super-worthy cover of “Scarecrow,” a wonderful obscure choice of cover material, and she even brings something new to the table by emphasizing punishing beats over guitar grind. Pig do an excellent job with “Just Like You,” pure synth terror – Raymond surely must make Trent Reznor so damn jealous. Then there’s some filler, Hate Dept., Death Ride 69, blah blah, and Meathead absolutely eviscerate erstwhile New Romantic anthem “Say You’re Sorry” right in front of me. It’s almost painful to see it twitch as blood splashes on the disco ball. Not Breathing shows me something, too, but they’re kind of strip-mining
the weirder side of the DHR quarry.
Volume 2 opens with three snoozers in a row – Electric Hellfire Club carbon-copy “Rape and Honey,” ditto with Shining and “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” and En Esch gets way too cutesy with “Work For Love.” Yawn. I’m almost kind of sad that no one treated With Sympathy as nothing more than a dead squirrel to kick around with total scorn. Which reminds me, Trust Obey vs. Paved in Skin’s version of “Revenge” is highly recommended, both original and accurate. Meg Lee Chin rocks all over the place with a much less self-absorbed and slapping-junkies-in-mid-nod version of “Just One Fix.” Words can’t come close to describing how inspirational this track is. Bye bye, romantic heroin myth. Its kind of funny that Heavy Water Factory try to pull off the same number later on in the record, and they end up looking like rank amateurs. Terminal 46 completely miss all of the majesty and brilliance of “So What” that was captured on In Case You… with Chris Connelly spitting up metaphorical blood, so what we get here is overly studied sterility. Attrition do a quite nifty version of “The Cannibal Song,” but the rest of the record left me feeling kind of let down. Full points though, for effort,
and for a couple of the artists going way above and beyond the call of cover version duty.
Invisible Records, P.O. Box 16008, Chicago, IL 60616; http://www.invisiblerecords.com