Record Review 

Chicago's aggressive, industrial outfit Ministry truly shined when the group's personnel provided checks and balances, giving a razor-sharp edge to core member Al Jourgensen's squelching mania. Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Bill Rieflin, etc., perfected the group's holy trinity of industrial rock albums: 1988's The Land of Rape and Honey, 1989's The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste and 1991's Psalm 69. But as each bailed out, Ministry became a sinking ship that unequivocally hits rock bottom with Houses of the Mole.

The record's title is a dim-witted play on Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, but the only thing "classic" about this rock is that it looks to the band's greatest commercial success in hopes of reviving some past glories. Conveniently, there's another Bush in office and the samples of Dubya droning on about some bullshit in "No W" are almost interchangeable with his daddy's voice in "N.W.O." from Psalm 69. But here the political baggage is bursting from the seams.

"Psalm 32" cartoonishly invokes the fury of "Psalm 69," but packs half the punch. "WTV" rehashes the ever-annoying "TV Song," and "Warp City" is the poor man's "Jesus Built My Hotrod." "Worm" is an uncharacteristic moment of brilliance, dropping the intensity and the political charade, but it's too little, too late. Mole desperately retraces Psalm 69's footsteps but forgets that giving listeners a taste of its political agenda is way more effective than cramming it down their throats.


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