Post-Trump and the world is still in chaos, overrun by a virus that’s seemingly never going away due to a continuing campaign of disinformation and morons in general perpetuating lies and ridiculousness. Sounds like the perfect time for Ministry to come out of hibernation, yeah? It may have been Trump who initially lit a brand new fire under Uncle Al’s ass but it seems like the ensuing daily deluge of dumpster fires has been the catalyst to one of the most interesting and innovative Ministry releases of the 21st Century.
For those still sour that Ministry’s follow-up to Psalm 69 was the decidedly different Filth Pig, Moral Hygiene is wholly an all around classic from the Industrial legends from start to finish but loves to hang around in that sweet spot between those two records making it almost like a lost successor to the iconic 1992 record.
One of the few bright spots when we were in the thick of things last year was a surprise Ministry track released in April of 2020. Entitled “Alert Level”, Uncle Al and company did what they did best and tapped into the feel of the more level-headed with this song brimming with paranoia and unease while also managing to conjure up the feels of some older Ministry tracks with the way the bass booms within a primal pummeling filled with shrieking guitar lines that were some of the gnarliest riffs the Industrial giants have laid to tape. It was a super early first taste of Moral Hygiene and if it got your hopes up for the general sound of Ministry’s fifteenth(!) long player then prepare to have those expectations exceeded. Cut to 2021 and fans got “Good Trouble”, the first “official” single from the record which is filled with that scathing harmonica that permeated Filth Pig mixed with the raw intensity found on Rio Grande Blood.
Ready for a real throwback? Morale Hygiene has you covered with the shreddy, maniacal “Sabotage Is Sex” that has ALL the RevCo and Lard feels and just oozes excellence thanks in no small part to the triumphant Jello Biafra to the mic. “Disinformation” is a chug-a-chug riff fest and a sample-o-rama which sounds like an extension of AmeriKKKant and then “Search And Destroy” enters and is just weird and and wonderful and that’s okay. Again on our Filth Pig kick, Jourgensen’s take on The Stooges’ classic is akin to the cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” on that album in that it’s a Ministry version through and through with Uncle Al not even attempting to emulate another singer because, in the case of Iggy Pop, why would you even try?
“Believe Me” treads updated With Sympathy territory (Albeit a tad heavier) and really shines with Gothic overtones thanks to Al’s smooth vocal lines here while “Broken System” is like Hard Rawk Ministry as this driving, sample-laden ditty just slams at every opportunity. “We Shall Resist” is a brooding, lumbering beastie built on an inherent bass hum and a primeval pounding that Ministry’s become synonymous with over the years with Uncle Al sounding particularly monstrous in a subtle way. Closing with the latest riff-tastic “TV Song” (This one being the “Right Around The Corner” mix) and fans are left with one of the most solid Ministry records since the GWB trilogy of the mid aught’s.
Moral Hygiene drops on October 1st through Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-order your copy now in a variety of formats by heading to the Bandcamp link below or here. For the latest on Ministry, including info on 2022 dates with Corrosion Of Conformity and (the) melvins, follow them on the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.