This release came as a surprise. Ministry signed to Sanctuary and released their last two studio albums with them. The recent live tours didn't feature any of the music presented here and curiously, now we have a Wax Trax! singles compilation with four earlier unreleased tracks out on the label Rykodisc in USA. Half of the content already exists on the out of print compilation CD from 1985 "Twelve Inch Singles 1981-1984" on the now defunct and legendary Chicago industrial breeding ground label Wax Trax! Records. I had to realize that giving this "Early Trax" disc a few spins was required rather than just drawing from memory.
I'm sure Al Jourgensen would rather not talk about the song "Everyday Is Halloween" anymore. And for some it's the big song you love to hate. While not the first ever Ministry single, many identify this as their first ever hook listen to Ministry.
So for those who didn't collect the original 12" singles (with the Wax Trax! mail order catalogue inserted) or the later CD release, this is your chance to hear this great essential archive in newly re-mastered format. All songs are written by and mostly performed by Al Jourgensen and this was pre Paul Barker. This is an excellent purchase just for the two minute intros to the "Everyday Is Halloween" "All Day" remixes, as these pieces ring in your ears from past dance floor stomps. You can definitely tell from these remixes the direction that "Twitch" would take. "Nature of Outakes" reeks of the ever present dub mix that was an all too common B-side insertion on many dance singles of the day and it shows no real need here, except for vintage analogue fans and completists.
As we move along to the unreleased material from the pre and post Boston "With Sympathy" period, we see the raw budding of this artist in a new light. The electro roots about to become the raw future anthems of later releases are seen. An early aggro-synth example is the track "He's Angry" from 1984. In "Move", we see a new direction in vocals, as Jourgensen guides us to the next future sound of Ministry. Many predictable slow Linn drum machine rhythms here would likely not appeal to the new generation whom might delve into breakcore and the like. Funny, if you pause or repeat a segment on your player you can almost perform the same DIY effects as those given to us by the original remix team.
Earlier recorded tracks like "I'm Falling" show the early Ministry when they were a breaking from the minimal Robert Smith style guitar line sound to more electronic back beat new wave. It gives that on the tip of your tongue, déja vu feeling, knowing that you've heard similar by another band many times before. This track is represented twice here though it can be found on the earliest Ministry single "Cold Life". "Overkill" reminds me of B-52's with similar Roland synth sounds and building guitar segments.
A companion Ministry roots CD called "Side Trax" is also available.