I’m In Love With This Malicious Intent

A new world order!  A new world order!

Limping into 1992 like the scabby one-eyed rabid junkyard dog they were, Ministry took one long baleful look at the world around them and hit the mainline.  They sculpted a malicious nugget of raw cynicism and called it ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘCatchy though ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ is as a title, let us use the alternative one, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs*.

Ministry Psalm 69 02

Kicking off with ‘N.W.O’ what first strikes me in 2017 is how nostalgic and safe George H.W Bush’s voice sounds to me, the times they have a’changed.  The track is just magnificent, a barrage of beats and guitar licks augmented by samples from Apocalypse Now and Mr Bush.  When I first heard it, I remember thinking ‘Wow, this is cyber metal!’ and I stand by that today.  Ministry tilted their industrial racket far more towards thrash metal than I remember anyone else doing at the time and despite the odd Luddite moaning about ‘how samplers weren’t rock’, most of us just went for the volume and feel of it.

Ministry Psalm 69 07

The ferocious ‘Just One Fix’ adds Slayer, Frank Sinatra (dialogue from The Man With The Golden Arm), Hellraiser and Sid & Nancy to the syringe.  When I first heard it, in about ’93 I thought it was the best new heavy music that I had heard in years.  I still keep this one on close rotation too.

Ministry Psalm 69 04 (2)

Psalm 69 continues with ‘TV II’ is a strange, ranting symphony of noise  – ‘Connect the Goddamned darts!’, indeed.  A real imploding nugget of negativity^^.  ‘Hero’ is yet another slice of speed metal perfection, blurring and glitching the boundaries between what the band produce and what they engineer – Jourgensen’s voice reduced to a supremely sinister rasp as he bashes the unseeingly patriotic.

Ministry Psalm 69 03

Side 1 finishes with ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’, shortened from the expansive insanity of the 12″ single version, this version is more intense but I miss some of the samples from the longer take.  Gibby Haynes’ pissed gibbering is always a treat though.  I think some of these men may have taken drugs once.

‘Scarecrow’ is a real treat, the moment for me when Ministry really create something new here.  The band take their cold scabrous sheets of sound and fashion them into a new expansive shape, ripping off a trick or two of Johnny Marr’s too, unless my damaged old ears deceive me.  I could listen to it for hours.

Ministry Psalm 69 06 (2)

…unlike the title track ‘Psalm 69’ which is just childishly daft really.  Being lewdly profane about religion? it’s a bit smartarsed teenager for my tastes now.  It’s the sort of track that is just trying too hard for a bit of a fuss and a bit of controversy.  Sit down Al, have a cup of tea and a biscuit and let us talk through your issues constructively, there’s no need to go on about the ‘devil’s cock’ so often, is there?

Ministry Psalm 69 01 (2)

The final two blasts on Psalm 69 are ‘Corrosion’ and ‘Grace’ which are again two noise sculptures, full of blasting beats, squalls of feedback and sirens but they work much less well for me than ‘Scare Crow’ where the vision just seems more fully realised.

I loved this LP when I first heard it and, a couple of duffers aside, love it still.  Sometimes when you get angry enough with the waters of humanity you don’t need the answers, it’s enough just to be the one pissing in the well.

Ministry Psalm 69 08

Ministry NWO Single 01

I picked up the 10″ single of N.W.O a few years later in a second-hand shop, lured to my doom by the promise of an ‘extended dance mix’ of the title track and non-album track demurely called ‘Fucked’.  I know, I know I’m just a pushover for some good swearing.

Needless to say after negotiating the (deliberate?) irritant of the single playing at 45RPM, instead of the 33RPM it was marked at, ‘N.W.O (Extended dance Mix)’ isn’t really anything of the sort.  It is longer, louder, sounds a little punchier and we get some bonus Joseph McCarthy samples.  Again, this is rage in excelsis – everything that is angry and cleansing in the world is here.

Ministry NWO Single 02

I really can’t get enough of this:

I’m in love with this malicious intent
You’ve been taken but you don’t know it yet

Funnily enough the normal LP version feels a bit puny when played straight afterwards.

But does ‘Fucked’ live up to its’ name? no, it’s a dull atmosphere piece, not enough malicious intent for me.

Jesus built my car
It’s a love affair
Mainly Jesus and my hot rod

Yeah, fuck it!

808 Down.

PS: I wouldn’t recommend this 2014 re-release of Psalm 69, it may be 180g weight but it feels shallowly cut and is a bit prone to skipping even when freshly cleaned.  I would recommend grabbing an older version if you see one around.  This was a public service announcement on behalf of scabby one-eyed rabid junkyard dogs everywhere.

*it’s an Aleister Crowley in-joke, from his Book Of Lies.  From chapter 69 of it in fact where he uses the phrase ‘the way to succeed and the way to suck eggs’ as a smutty euphemism for mutual oral pleasure.  Truly he was an instrument of Satan**.

**and not just a rapacious chancer with a main eye for publicity.  Nope he wasn’t one of those at all^.

^and I say this as someone who has read a certain amount of his stuff; Moonchild was good.

^^Negativity Nuggets best served with fries and salad.

47 thoughts on “I’m In Love With This Malicious Intent

      1. I even like that Godawful one about that ghost marine. I also really love Tom Waits doing ‘Big Joe & Phantom 309’ – that’s a real favourite.

  1. I’m aware of The existence of this one, but never bothered exploring. I’m inclined to now… cause holy shit! Jesus Built My Hotrod is amazing.

    Also, I was actually thinking that it reminded me of Machines Of Loving Grace and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and see that our friend Aaron mentioned the latter… anyhoo, I need to listen to Jesus Built My Hotrod again. Fuck yeah!

  2. Jesus Built My Hotrod is ace. I’m thinking Primus took a few cues from this one.

    One day I will find a fellow in Tijuana to build me a hotrod. Then I can truly say that Jesus built my hotrod.

  3. Pure classic. Connect the g*dd*mn doootttts!!! Hahaha man there were guys in high school who played this non-stop for a while.

    Did I ever tell you I saw Ministry in concert, with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult opening? That was… really something!

      1. I can’t even guess whether you’d like them or not… they just… are… it’s interesting. I thought for sure I’d written it up for the KMA but apparently not…

  4. This album reminds me of the summer after I graduated high school. I can remember going over to my brother’s place and sitting around playing Tetris and listening to “Just One Fix” over and over again. Good times. Jourgensen was one crusty pirate.

    1. It is an awesome racket. This LP is great but they went off the boil a bit afterwards, for me anyway.

      My dad got very into Ministry, which is a bit annoying- I’m trying to rebel here, please!

      1. Well, I’d like to listen to this album now. Thanks for another new-to-me musical experience.
        Oh, and I’d have been lured by the “extended dance mix”. Rage-dance is best in extended form.

      2. Mission accomplished! It’s always good to pass it on.

        The dance mix is outlandishly good. I look forward to you posting your interpretive dance routine soon.

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