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Marilyn Manson The Golden Age of Grotesque

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 @ 4:55 PM


(Nothing/Interscope)

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While the dull-witted masses of television-teat suckers breathlessly await the results of “American Idol”, MARILYN MANSON returns to the airwaves with their latest full-length CD since “Holy Wood”, hopefully to lead a fiery insurrection on musical false-idol worship.

Trenched in his high-fashion Army-Of-Hell chic, steeped in creep and looking like he means to out-glam The Murderdolls, one wonders: can Mr. Manson, (and his eponymous wrecking crew of musicians), out-do and out-rock himself once again?

He has set himself a lofty challenge. The man in the “Dope Hat” who once shoved “Unicorn” lollipops into his nether region on stage might be the Anti-Christ he is often labeled as- or he might just be a weak Alice Cooper imitation Whether you like him or not, one thing is certain: stage antics and cool-looking clothes need great songs to make a Rock Star shine.

With his latest release poised to enter the charts at Number One- Marilyn, John 5, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Ginger Fish and Tim Skold have produced an exciting record….

“This Is The New Shit” offers the lyrical premise that it’s all been done before- a post-millenium ‘fin-de-siecle’ for rock, which, on “Mechanical Animals”, he already proclaimed is “Dead”. Check out the first verse and chorus-

“Everything has been said before/There’s nothing left to say anymore When it’s all the same/you can ask for it by name

“Bubble bubble/bitch bitch/rebel rebel/party party
Sex sex sex/and don’t forget the violence
Blah blah blah/got your lovey-dovey sad-and-lonely
Stick your STUPID SLOGAN in
Everybody sing along

“Are you motherfuckers ready
For the new shit?
Stand up and admit!
Tomorrow’s never coming-
This is the new shit
Stand up and admit!
Do we get it? NO!
Do we want it? YEAH!
This is the new shit-
Stand up and admit!”

Given the title of the song, I am inclined to think Manson is jabbing away at the ridiculous lyric excess of rap/Hip-hop driven pop-radio… but I’m hardly a poetry teacher: I’ll leave that to the college professors. What makes it for me is this familiar cache: It has a good beat and you can dance to it. Or something like that. It rocks in the now-familiar “Marilyn Manson” style. Maybe nothing is shocking anymore- maybe that’s the point- maybe there is only familiar territory to tread - but as long as it rocks, that’s all that matters. That said- here’s my song-by-song breakdown:

“mObscene” - with it’s chorus of girls, is a nifty little rocker.

“Doll Dagga Buzz Buzz Ziggety Zag” is a catchy faster-“Beautiful People”-style song that cooks, whatever the hell it means… the chug-a-chug guitar/drums make me think this guy likes Adam And The Ants more than anyone will ever say…

“Use Your Fist, And Not Your Mouth” - A little KMFDM for the mainstream…

“The Golden Age Of The Grotesque” - slowed-down “Dope Show”

“(s) AINT” – a stand-out track with Manson as the angry girl-using “star”

“Ka Boom Ka Boom”- stands-out, but, see above

“Slutgarden”- nice n’ creepy slow rock about porn and it’s effects on sex ; or maybe it’s just about strippers…

“Spade” – not about the comedian- but it doesn’t rock so much as it crawls; not bad…

“Para noir” – another song about fucking and hating, slow, gloomy…rocks on the chorus

“The Bright Young Things” – back to the “chug-a-chug” rockin’ … not bad…

“Better Of Two Evils” – see above

“Vodevil” – “Suck, baby, suck…” (hats off to Bowie)…and back to the rockin’ of the earlier “Lunchbox” style Manson with slicker production

“Obsequecy (The Death Of Art)” – throwaway “outro” with piano

Maybe “The Golden Age Of The Grotesque” is the “Caberet” of our time- A pre-Neo-fascist paean to the end of the good times and the heralding of the evil that will soon take us over. Maybe this is the “Fall Of the Empire”…maybe not. In any case- Marilyn Manson has delivered the goods, “a la Marilyn Manson”. Perhaps Mr. Manson and company aren’t forging any new territory- but I certainly think the path he is on is a more interesting journey than anyone else is taking us on these days… bring on the insurrection!

(comes with a bonus DVD – “DOPPELHERZ - A Film By Marilyn Manson” )

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