Ministry Rio Grande Blood

It has been said on more than one occasion that Ministry are at their best when they are angry, that said, 2004’s anti-George W. Bush opus Houses of the Mole marked a true return to form for the band. Their latest effort, Rio Grande Blood, could just as easily be called Houses of the Mole Pt. 2, as thematically, it treads remarkably similar territory. US conservatives will loathe this album for exactly the same reasons Ministry fans will appreciate it: the band approach their subject matter with all the delicacy of a sledgehammer, spouting opinions with no hint of subtlety or allusion. Ministry tell it like they see and feel it, and how they see it is blatantly obvious from the song titles alone, which include cuts like "Fear (is Big Business),” "The Great Satan” and "Ass Clown.” The music contained within is littered with political sound bites (covering everything from terrorism to the questionable reasons behind the US invasion of Iraq), and is steady, driving and frenetic throughout — just like a solid Ministry album should be. The best track is easily the 9/11-inspired "Lies Lies Lies,” which successfully mixes the industrial sound with more mainstream accessible hooks. Those who claim Ministry lost their edge in the late ’90s and got old, would do well to pick up Rio Grande Blood (as well as its 2004 predecessor), because the only thing better for the band than a musical renaissance is a rage-fuelled one. And that’s exactly what we have here. Recommended. (Secretly Canadian / Overground)