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Music Review: Ministry and Co-Conspirators – Cover Up

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Written by Puño Estupendo

April Fool's Day is sure to see many mindless pranks pulled, jokes cracked, and people left scratching their heads and asking what's real and what's the joke. To capitalize on this, Ministry has deemed it appropriate to release an album of covers for the masses to scratch their heads over and smile about, and they've called it Cover Up.

After the release of three blistering Anti-Bush themed albums, Al / Alien / Buck Satan Jourgensen has taken some rock staples from the ‘60s and ‘70s and given them a distorted, programmed sound that their original fans couldn't possibly have imagined while in the back of vans everywhere smoking pot. With their tongues seemingly nail-gunned in cheek, his lineup of musicians, which includes Tommy Victor of Prong, tear through such radio mainstays as “Radar Love,” “Space Truckin’” and “Mississippi Queen.”

Although the opening track (an almost ridiculous version of “Under My Thumb” with fuzzy/whispered vocals and inserted dirty lyrics) had me rolling my eyes as to what the rest of this collection of misfires was going to sound like, I quickly lightened the hell up and went with the joke. Even after half-cringing over the first track, “Bang A Gong” brings it back around and actually works well. Josh Bradford's vocals are nice and sleazy and the guitars are straightforward enough to even have the more sensitive of T. Rex fans having to admit it sounds pretty good.

It may be more of an album for people that are already fans of Jourgensen's discography, but the casual listener should be able to have fun with this record too. Even when you know that most of the tracks are going to be predictably blown out, sped up and double-timed, there's absolutely some fun to be had here.

It does seem to me that this would have been a better fit for another of Al's bands, The Revolting Cocks, but does it really matter where Al decides to be slightly nuts? We should all be thankful it wasn't Al trying to be completely nuts!

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