Emery Recommends: “So What” by Ministry

I’m a time bomb inside. 

My husband and I both cut our teeth on punk rock. Our shared music tastes was one of the first things we bonded over — our music collections had so much overlap that we argued about whose copy of the same CD was whose (answer: the one in better shape was always mine.)

He likes to say I’ve gone soft as we’ve gotten older. While he’s barely expanded his playlists to include a few songs we haven’t been listening to since the 90s, I’ve found countless loves in indie, folk, and other genres that are, yes, decidedly mellower. Maybe I have gotten soft.

But sometimes I need something angrier. Something louder.

Back in the day, Ministry was one band that punks, metal heads, and industrial music fans (do they have a name?) could agree on. I heard it a lot from group to group, and I’ve never forgotten the visceral reaction I had when, in the back of a small black car piled alongside four other teenagers, I heard The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste for the first time. It embodied all our anger — at the world, at our parents, at injustice — and gave language to our frustrations.

You have to listen to Ministry as loud as possible. And you need to prepare yourself for the inevitable adrenaline rush, the overwhelming impulse to shout, the catharsis. The urge to resist and say “fuck you” to authority and oppressors.

So sometimes, like during the holidays when I’ve heard “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” for the umpteenth time, or when the world being on fire collapses my lungs, or when I’m driving down a long stretch of high desert highway, I put on “So What” and I scream:

I’m a time bomb inside
No one listens to reason
It’s too late and I’m ready to fight

(Song recommendation by Emery Ross)

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