Ministry/Revolting Cocks fans generally fall into one of two camps; those who dig Al Jourgenson's '80s game-changers Twitch, The Land Of Rape & Honey, and Big Sexy Land and those who enjoy the early '90s debauchery, the deconstructed Olivia Newton-John covers, and a smacked-out Jourgenson surrounded by sycophants all too eager to take part in the madness.
Chris Connelly, of course, was one of the many hangers-on who found themselves taking part in both gigs and recording sessions for Ministry/RevCo as Jourgenson loosened his grip on the wheel and left co-pilot Paul Barker to keep the ship afloat.
Connelly's musical journey post-Jourgenson has been one with no clear cut path, lots of artsy twists and turns, mind you, but nothing that ever seemed to indicate a dedicated long-term musical direction, which is why I was initially skeptical of Cocksure, Connelly's collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Jason Novak, when they appeared on the scene in 2013.
Based on Connelly's own criticism of the work for which he is best known in his recent book, "Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried: My Life As A Revolting Cock", his committed return to the genre came as quite a shock, but what's even more jaw-dropping is how great the results are through and through.
While on first listen, it may sound as if Cocksure are merely coloring by numbers, giving nostalgic industrial fans just enough of the familiar to keep them interested, a few more listens reveals layers of nuance, subtlety and humor that are just as dark, but nowhere near as sophomoric as much of the later Ministry/RevCo stuff.
With a plethora of wiry bass lines and jackhammer beats laying the groundwork, "Severance Package" and "Hustler Face" seem at times closer in tone to pre-Connolly RevCo, while "Mighty Mouse" and "Razor Invader" are deep cuts worth waiting for that would not have been out of place on The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste.
It's enough to make this longtime fan look forward to the middle of the bill for night #2 of Cold Waves IV (September 26) even more than the two acts that will have the tough task of following them.