Ministry & 3TEETH at SWG3, 03/07/19
If missing Ministry on their last tour wasn’t
already enough of an incentive on its own to see them this time around, the
fact that 3TEETH were added as support meant it was officially a no-brainer.
guys do is a statement, and they aren’t afraid to take their visual concepts to
the extreme either. Frontman Alexis Mincolla consistently likens their lyrics
to ‘sucking the poison out of a mass production society and spitting it back in
its own face’, and their latest songs off Metawar have a sense of urgency about
them that manifests that intent with alarming accuracy – whereas their sinister
cover of Foster The People’s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ is a reflection of gun violence,
for example, ‘Affluenza’ is a blistering critique of all-consuming corporate
greed and the dehumanization that results from it.
3TEETH are the antidote to dystopian reality that
we desperately need, and if hard evidence is needed that industrial still has a
place in the modern world of music, they’re it.
Commence operation mindfuck. Plunging SWG3’s
warehouse setting into the crushing dissonance and semireligious chants of
‘Divine Weapon’ from shutdown.exe, 3TEETH follow up with the hounding
intro of new track ‘EXXXIT’. Not even recent comparisons to Jim Carrey’s Eggman
can undermine Alexis’ imposing stage presence in his trench coat, and his harsh
vocals are especially freakish during ‘American Landfill’. At one point he
jokes about still being hungover from the last time they played in Glasgow too
– a gag that’s made even funnier considering it was four years ago now.
After several requests on his part to kill the
front lights, we suddenly find ourselves swallowed in darkness as strobe
effects deliver a full-scale assault on our senses and the doom-like brutality
of ‘Slavegod’ obliterates us altogether. ‘Pit of Fire’ and ‘Master of Decay’
have a similarly devastating impact, and as Alexis writhes onstage in the midst
of it all, fellow members Chase, Andrew, Xavier, and Justin channel the same
vicious energy. Despite immigration problems plaguing the start of their UK
tour and a couple of technical issues occurring during their set, 3TEETH remain
addictive to the point of being lethal.
Of course, 3TEETH’s brand of industrial metal
probably wouldn’t even exist without iconic legends like Ministry paving the
way almost thirty years ago. As Cesar Soto, Sin Quirin, Paul D’Amour, John
Bechdel, Derek Abrams and Uncle Al himself take to the stage behind a large
bird skull, they instantly command an authority that’s reserved for them alone,
and rightly so.
From here on they proceed to play their fourteenth
album AmeriKKKant in its entirety, beginning with the slow grinding metal riffs
and blazing harmonica sounds of ‘Twilight Zone’. ‘Wargasm’ definitely reminds
me of some of Killing Joke’s heavier material when they get around to it, and
the use flag-waving in ‘Antifa’ is worth a mention as well – far from being a
gimmick, the way they bark out the words to this song lets you know that they
well and truly stand by its philosophy of standing up for yourself.
There are a lot of moments from live shows that
will forever stay with me, but hearing Al Jourgensen do a Gollum impression
while whispering “My precious Glaswegians” with a pint in his hand has got to
be pretty high up on the list, to be honest. This is followed up by "You
guys crack me up every time, man" and "We can always count on Glasgow
to be a rowdy bunch on tour", so you know the respect is one hundred
percent mutual between him and everyone else in the room.
Exiting and then re-entering the stage for the
second half of their set, Ministry later cater to their audience by giving us
what Al refers to as 'dog treats' from the late 80s and 90s. This is when the
show really starts to heat up - from crowd moshing to hits like 'Stigmata',
'N.W.O' and 'Just One Fix' to a fan dressed like Jesus crowd surfing in the
middle of 'Jesus Built My Hotrod', you just want to lap it all up out of pure
For me, though, the biggest dopamine rush actually
comes when they introduce the final song as none other than their cover of 'No
Devotion' by Revolting Cocks (I mean, it's a damn good song to end the night
on, plus you've got to appreciate the beautiful irony of a band called Ministry
shouting "The voice of God means nothing anymore"!). It’s not every
day that two industrial metal giants show up in your town for a midweek
shindig, but when they do, you'd better believe that they're the real deal.
Image credits: Barry Douglas, Jason Young & @dc_adams_13