Paul Barker - Fix This!
Former Ministry cog and Industrial genius Paul Barker returns with a set that, while uneven, brings the heat more often than not. "FIX This!" features guest appearances from the likes of Nivek Ogre and Chris Connelly, but this set rests on Barker's considerable mojo. Where the record stumbles is toward the end, where some remixes and guest tracks cut some of the prior demonstrations of power.
Barker's genius lies somewhere in between gritty distorted and plodding industrial (as on "Heroine's Habit") and a creepy insistent, Residents-like drone ("reSpite"). Other highlights are the abstract ambient, chilling "Heavy Water" and the relentless "Self-Inflicted Blight (Puscifer Mix"). The best track of all might be "I Stumble Through the Fever Dream," the funkiest groove on set, and the vocals, half-shouted/half-spoken, are most effective too. Missteps include the unabashed Bowie rip-off "Evangelical Sound Barrier" and the remixes. "Psampled 69 Blight" is unimpressive and limp and the closer, Jeffrey Kinart's "Brudlefly" is such a fairly pedestrian ambient drone as to be a parody of one.
With Ministry back in action and pushing a documentary as well as a new record, it is good timing to appreciate Paul Barker and all he has done for Industrial music. And clearly "FIX This!" shows him to still be capable of authoritative and powerful music. He trips up on some of the guest vehicles and when straying too far from his core talents. Still, this is a great release, one that stands on its own and as a reminder that Al Jourgensen isn't the only Industrial legend still prowling our psyche.
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