Jello Biafra - In The Grip Of official treason [Alternative Tentacles - 2006]In The Grip Of official treason is Jello Biafra eighth spoken word album, spread across three cd’s, each running 70 minutes plus. Taking material from 2004 and up to summer 2006. As expected it’s rebel rousing, political acidity and often funny rant and rave, dealing for the most part with the George W. Bush administration- but it does touch down in other topics, though more often it does feels tied to Bush battering.
The main weight of the material here is the In the grip of official treason – Psalm 1 through to 3, which takes up half of disk one all of disk two and a good chunk of disk three. Really covering the dodgy deals, corruption and trickery of the Bush government- Biafra really is as entertaining and challenging as he is in his musically backed form, under attack other than Bush are: The Gulf war and the damage it has done to Iraq, its people and us soldiers. Arnold Schwarzenegger political ranglings, electronic vote tampering, corporate shady dealings, Katrina’ s battering of new Orleans- pictures taken by Biafra of the devastation also illustrated the fold out digi –pak, as well the pictures by great political and satirical collager Winston Smith, which I’m sure will be familiar to anyone who’s seen many of Biafra solo work and his work with others. Also inside the digi–pak is a bigger fold out Smith collage backed by a large black & white photo collage by Biafra himself. The other great thing about the packing is Biafra lists a page worth of relevant and interesting sites to get more involved with the subjects he discusses. The rest of the disk that inst taken up by the expanded version of the Ministry song Ass Clown from their latest album Rio Grande Blood. An updated version of Biafra’s gulf war one song Die for oil.
A very though provoking, angry and often funny spoken word cd that rarely drags though it’s well over three hour playing time. Showing Biafra still has the same fire in his gut as back in the days of the Dead Kennedy’s. Making one feel it would be great to see him back in the full time musically reins blowing pop punk clearly of the planet- getting back to what punk was meant to be about.Roger Batty