RYKODISC RELEASE: OCTOBER
12, 2004 REVIEW: DECEMBER
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
Trax" is also available.