Lard - The Last Temptation of Reid (Cover Artwork)


The Last Temptation of Reid (1990)

Alternative Tentacles

Why do I like LARD? Well, LARD taught me that industrial music can be fun. A fan of all things DK, I decided to pick up this album, LARD's first, to check out what the hell Jello was up to. I had heard this particular project involved the members of Ministry, which frightened me beyond belief. I have never been a big fan of anything even remotely related to metal. However, I remebered a live track where Biafra had done vocals with Ministry that I enjoyed and risked my seven bucks. Boy was I surprized.

The album has a very proto-evil disco feel to it, this could be a bad thing, but just as you descend into electro-metal riff hell, in comes Jello and lifts you up into comic paradise. I don't know what I expected from the group, after all, they are called LARD for christ's sake. Every track ups the ante in goofiness. Jello's lyrics are divinely wacky in this one, peaking comically in the fifth track, "Can God Fill Teeth?," which is quite possibly the most I've ever laughed at someone screaming in pain for four minutes and twenty seconds. The track following immediately afterwards is my favorite off this CD. "Bozo Skeleton" is one of Jello's only introspective songs. It talks about the slings and arrows he's recieved over the years due to his public image. It's painfully honest and shows a few dents and cracks in his ego armor, it's very refreshing.

The lyrics, while the album's strong point, are not the only interesting thing brought to the table. I'm a bit of a novice in LARD's musical category, so maybe they didn't do anything innovative, but I do recognize good song arrangements when I hear them. Despite the repetitive nature of the album, the boys from Ministry are able to keep things fresh with electronic breakdowns and vocal effects.

LARD is a strange beast, a friend of mine once described it as "...the same damn riff over and over while Jello dicks around." There is some truth to that statement, although if you look at it for what it is, which is basically a joke band with political fervor, it's a damn good record. I suggest you check it out. And, love it or hate it, you'll have to agree with me that it'd really suck to be the drummer if they ever played "They're Coming to Take Me Away" live.