REVIEW: SURGICAL METH MACHINE – “Surgical Meth Machine”
Surgical Meth Machine‘s self-titled debut album is the new project of the one and only industrial maniac Al Jourgensen. Jourgensen’s career started in the early 80’s when he was a DJ in his college years. This then lead to a few other projects, which ultimately spurred him to create the classic industrial band Ministry. His innovation, unique & reckless style, and passion for music have left a mark in industrial history, even making him one of the founding fathers of the genre.
‘Surgical Meth Machine’ was written and produced by Al Jourgensen and his partner Sam D’Ambro. For those of you who think this is an extension of Ministry, think again. Surgical Meth Machine is an entity in itself; it’s a project meant to step into realms of creativity that have not been touched yet Jourgensen. This has given him the freedom to give form to the raw ideas in his mind. With limited resources, this album was said to be recorded as a more garage-type of CD; almost a DIY project.
This self-titled album is very chaotic and abstract. It has been stated that this album was fueled by the use of alcohol and marijuana: the first half was written while drinking alcohol, which is why its very fast and angry music, while the second half was when they decided to indulge in the pleasures of Mary J, which mellowed the music down to a calmer speed.
The opening track “I’m Sensitive” sets the tone of the album. The song is simple but has a bit of a deeper meaning; the lyric “I don’t fucking care,” is actually a quote that Jourgensen has been using frequently over the last few years. This song could be interpreted in many different ways. After listening to it several times, it seems to be mocking today’s youth and our obsession with social media, and how we care about insignificant, irrelevant, childish things. We are now filled by the need or want of validation from the whole world through these online programs. Interpretations aside, the song sounds very electronic, fast, and deranged.
The fourth track on the album “Rich People Problems” however switches gears. The song has guitar riffs and a devil-may-care punk attitude. When you realize what they’re singing, you realize you can’t take the song seriously; it’s just a fun, silly song with words like “I don’t drink tap water.” It’ll probably make you think that this was when the weed probably began to kick in. Nevertheless, the track has a lot of vocal effects to create futuristic, robot-monster vocals. Although this sounds like a strange description, the vocals fit well in the song.
“I’m Invisible” closes the album with a calmer and depressive (almost goth) tone. The song feels very “vintage”, like they managed to make it sound like it was being played off an old vinyl. This includes all the pops, scratches, and needle-spinning sounds right to the last note.
The structure of ‘Surgical Meth Machine’ is all over the place, but manages to keep a rebellious, loud, fast, and crude sound. It is a great fusion of industrial, punk and pop. All the songs on the album vary in speed, but are very unique from each other. The lyrics on a lot of the songs trash-talks, targets and gives a big figurative middle finger to our society, the people in it, and even a few bands in the scene!
Overall, ‘Surgical Meth Machine’ is a short and sweet spurt of “electric punk” to get you through the day.