As entertainment goes, it's about as exciting as watching paint dry.
Catherine Chambers 2003-05-29
There was a time when you could always count on Marilyn Manson to be offensive. The self-styled God of F**k was always on hand to dish out a good number of profanities or of abusive references, and in that respect The Golden Age of Grotesque is no different to its five predecessors. It's unfortunate then, that Manson didn't apply the same diligence to his music. For The Golden Age Of Grotesque falls far short of 2001's Holy Wood and 1998's Antichrist Superstar, an album regarded in certain circles as Manson's finest hour to date.
For someone who is known to be one of the most articulate figures in rock, speaking candidly and thought-provokingly on religion, sexuality and drugs, Manson sounds like a hackneyed has-been on "This Is The New Shit" delivering such profound lyrics as 'Devil Devil Bitch Bitch Rebel Rebel Party Party'. As entertainment goes, it's about as exciting as watching paint dry.
It's a good job then that The Golden Age of Grotesque has its fair share of stomp factor. Notably the snarling dance-floor grooves of "mOBSCENE" and the call to arms air-punching anthem "Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth". This doesn't quite make up for the atrocious mess that is "Ka Boom Ka Boom" though, nor the fact that the best track here is a cover, Manson's dark electro-rock take on "Tainted Love".
Worryingly, Manson has declared The Golden Age of Grotesque his best album yet, which raises questions over his future musical direction. For any other band GAOG would be a decent offering, but coming from a man regarded as one of the most outrageous in rock, an album deemed only worth of the epithet 'sufficient' just isn't good enough.