Ministry: Toronto 1986 (Cleopatra, 2015)

January 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ministry: Toronto 1986

Ministry: Toronto 1986

Before they were an evil, guitar-driven industrial metal band, Ministry were a silly synth-pop group who tried way too hard to sound Euro. After a single on Wax Trax!, their first album With Sympathy came out on Arista in 1983, and the group hated the direction the label was taking them in and disowned the album. Al Jourgensen has been known to visit radio stations and smash their copy of the album. Nevertheless, their early synth-pop is still pretty great, and I feel like this type of music is way more in vogue now than it was a decade or two ago. Most of these songs appeared on their second album, the Adrian Sherwood-produced Twitch, which came out on Sire in 1986. That album found them moving towards their dark electro-industrial sound, but they hadn’t opted for heavy guitars yet. It’s one of their best albums. And of course, this live disc includes their goth club classic “Every Day is Halloween”, which, as cheesy as it sounds, still resonates to outcasts and weirdos like me. “My Possession” and “Where You At Now?” are faster, more electro-punk songs, and hearing them now, they strangely remind me of Dan Deacon. The music to “Isle of Man” still sounds pretty ahead of its time. The sound quality isn’t too bad, but it basically sounds like an above average bootleg. It doesn’t really matter, because this music sounds better when it’s raw and grimy anyway.

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