Last Album, Sucker
Learning that The Last Sucker is the last Ministry album of their career is initially disappointing, but upon listening to the disc, most would be of the opinion that putting the band to rest isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t such a bad idea. The Last Sucker is the concluding entry in a trilogy of albums frontman Al Jourgensen and company have devoted to the madness of the current Bush administration. With the final release of their 12 studio album career, Ministry takes its parting shots at the departing administration, decries the war in Iraq, and blasts George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for empty policies and empty souls. Whatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the problem with this? While the album is angry and aggressive, its major flaw is that it lacks power. Although it does make a statement and delivers all the fury one would expect of a political album, The Last Sucker is so over the top with wrath that it seems almost cartoonish and heavy-handed, losing its ability to motivate the listener to outrage.
Ministryâ€šÃ„Ã´s mystique has certainly undergone diverse changes over their 25+ year existence. Jourgensen has been the only consistent part of the group, with the rest of the band consisting of 34 former members, including recently deceased bass player Paul Raven, who played with Ministry from 2005-2007 and recorded The Last Sucker. Whereas early album classics were dense with lyrics of vague paranoia and psychological states, the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s current sound can be best described as meat and potatoes metal, spouting out lyrics of transparent political rants. The riffs simply seem rather boring and uninspired, and nothing stands out by the close of the album. The rest of the music, from the beats to the industrial influences, follows the same kind of solid, yet unoriginal feel as the guitar riffs.
The album starts out promising enough with â€šÃ„ÃºLetâ€šÃ„Ã´s Goâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºWatch Yourself,â€šÃ„Ã¹ both introducing high energy riffs and Alâ€šÃ„Ã´s distorted vocals, but after awhile, they become fairly boring and neither song seems to go anywhere. With the next two tracks, â€šÃ„ÃºLife is Goodâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºThe Dick Song,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the level of quality picks up considerably. The guitar chords are well written and motivated, the beats are hard hitting and diverse, and the songs have enough variance to make them interesting from start to finish. From there, the quality takes another drop from the title track through the rest of the album. â€šÃ„ÃºEnd of Days, Part 2â€šÃ„Ã¹ has been referenced by some as one of the best songs Ministry has ever done, but hardly lives up to the hype. It starts out with a slow repetitive, steady beat and clean spoken vocals, with children singing the songâ€šÃ„Ã´s title in the background. Shortly afterwards, the track breaks into a guitar solo that, although well played, is too little too late for this album.
Although it is certainly below the standards most Ministry fans have come to expect, The Last Sucker is still overall a decent offering. While upsetting that the end of the road has come for one of the best rock acts of its time, it is probably in the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s best interest to walk away now before their quality of music declines any further.