Lard: Jello Biafra (vocals); Al Jourgensen (guitar, keyboards, programming); Paul Barker (keyboards, bass, programming); Reid.
Additional personnel: Mike Scaccia (guitar); Bill Reiflin, Jeff Ward (drums); Chuck McMillan, Matt Schultz, Dirk Flanngan, Keith Robbins, Ion, Critter, Steve Silver (background vocals).
Producers: Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan, Marshall Lawless, Big Abner.
Engineers: Jeff Newell, Brad Kopplin.
Recorded at Chicago Trax, Chicago, Illinois.
You wouldn't think Jello Biafra would attempt something as anathematizing to him as a turgid, seven-minute '70s rock anthem. But the hilarious title track shows he will go just about anywhere to make an acrid comment. No kidding, you could slip this baby on any urban classic rock station and the mindless headbangers would eat up its Stones-Aerosmith-Zep-AC/DC cock rock riff like mice who don't notice the trap around the cheese -- until the steel-trap surprise lyrics slam into them! (And even hard rock fans who never notice ridiculously awful metal lyrics won't be able to escape the hysterical chorus refrain.) Biafra even dons a plausible Axl Rose voice for the occasion. In fact, this sendup is so good, a thousand '80s hair bands in headbands, leopard-skin pants, and muscle T-shirts spring to mind like an outbreak of styling mousse plague. But whereas Spinal Tap was just for cackles, Biafra's loathing is obvious. He decries the ceaseless perpetuation of the vapid rock caricature that punk bands like Biafra's Dead Kennedys meant to crush, while lamenting that the opposite has since occurred. In any case, this is drop-dead funny. As for the rest, "Volcanus 2000 (We Wipe the World)" returns Lard to its original 1988 industrial footing provided by collaborator Al Jourgensen of Ministry, slinging a similar sneer at all the self-conscious, neo-satanic slummers who want to be the next Nine Inch Nails. The "mountains of trash" in the coda sound too real to anyone who has seen the stink and odious rot of landfill on Staten Island, or gotten a whiff downstream of a passing garbage barge. But it could just as easily refer to your average record reviewer's daunting, decrepit new-CD pile. Finally, "Ballad of Marshall Ledbetter" is a fine metallic-industrial stomper. ~ Jack Rabid