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Throughout Amerikkkant, Jourgensen delivers countless rants against capitalism, conservatism, elitism, racism, gun owners and the potentially lethal divide in this country that separates neighbors and breaks up friends. Yet, he also calls for the unwashed masses to unite and rise up against their oppressors on songs like “We’re Tired of It.” And he does so with a sense of humor and an innate knack for creativity, slowing down Trump’s voice as he speaks about building a wall in “I Know Words,” excising the president’s speech to the words “Unfit and unqualified” in “Game Over” and ending the song with the sound effect of video game character Pac-Man turning inside-out and bursting.
More poignantly, Jourgensen follows Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell’s cybernetic vocals on “Wargasm” with quotes that seem to be from a soldier whose IQ is lower than his gun caliber: “Yeah, I remember that feeling. That was fucking righteous! Violence right in front of my fucking face. I felt it from my gut down to my fucking balls.” Like Trump, the sentiments are so lunkheaded and outrageous, they’d be kinda funny – if they weren’t so scary.
With Amerikkant, Jourgensen has found a sleek vehicle to frame his polemic. Rather than couch his fury in a roiling sea of predictable electronic beats and cutting, thrash beats, as he has sometimes effectively done in the past, he has varied the formula. Sure, the screaming distorted vocals are familiar and there are heavy guitars aplenty, but they’re woven into in musical beds that writhe and squirm like pinned victims trying to evade certain execution. As with any good Ministry album, there are tons of spoken word samples, but there’s more: The album is enhanced by wailing sirens reminiscent of Public Enemy, classical and Middle Eastern sounding strings from Lord of the Cello (especially in “I Know Words” “Twilight Zone” and “Victims of a Clown”) and the all-pro turntablists, N.W.A.’s Arabian Prince and DJ Swamp (Beck), who add to the cacophony on numerous tracks.
In an age when albums have turned into disposable containers for singles, Jourgensen is still fighting for the integrity of the full-length record, and Amerikkkant, while not exactly a concept album, plays out like a complete piece of art. “I Know Words,” while worthwhile as an individual song, lays the foundation for the skirmishes that follow. The eight-minute long “Twilight Zone” is a trudging battle march of echoing beats, sludgy guitars and electric harmonica that addresses the surrealism of today’s political landscape “Victims of a Clown” is equally long, but more haunting, filling space with eerie organs, squalling guitars, a groove-laden bass line and Jourgensen’s cries for (r)evolution. Despite the seeming contrast of styles, the track is held together with quotes from the memorable final speech in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” In retrospect, it’s similar in structure to “So What” from The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, but the message is hopeful instead of nihilistic.
|A1||I Know Words|
|A3||Victims Of A Clown|
|B1||We're Tired Of It|
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