Ministry : Greatest Fits

'Mad' Al Jourgensen and crew with, er, 'hits' LP

At the time it seemed silly; Ministry’s shock-rock oxymoron of high camp machismo. Like who wants some dick called Al banging on about “anal fuckfests” and shagging cows onstage when we have Alice In Chains to entertain us? Now, as Limp Bizkit become profligate and extravagant like Roman emperors could never have envisaged, this craply-titled collection of industrial knees-ups seems comparatively sober.

And not even that dated, either. Things like 1988’s ‘Stigmata’ still wire-wool scrub the synapses. With 13 tracks of fuzzy metal guitar, a drum machine on steroids, and Al Jourgensen’s incomprehensible barking, there’s little progression shown, but the cuts from ’99’s ‘Dark Side Of The Spoon’ still thunder with requisite force. It goes without saying that ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ remains totally ace, and that the only reason for their cover of ‘Lay Lady Lay’ to exist is to wind up Bob Dylan purists.

Like Nine Inch Nails, it’s all a big ol’ fuss about nothing – a more marketable version of the Skinny Puppies and Nitzer Ebbs who represent Ministry’s immediate ancestry. But like disgustingly expensive disaster movies, it’s all big dumb fun if you accept Al as the gently subversive figure of stinky jestery he is.

Noel Gardner