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Friday, August 1, 2014

Ministry - Twitch

Name: Ministry
Album: Twitch
Year: 1986
Style: Industrial Techno, Gothic
Similar Bands: Low Pop Suicide, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With Thrill Kill Kult, KMFDM, Front 242
"One-Word" Review: Mechanical Snake Dancing
Based Out Of: Chicago, IL
Label: Sire
 Twitch - Cover, Sleeve
 Twitch Back, Sleeve
Twitch - Record
Twitch (1986)
  1. Just Like You 5:00
  2. We Believe 5:56
  3. All Day Remix 6:02
  4. The Angel 6:06 / 
  5. Over The Shoulder 5:11
  6. My Possession 5:02
  7. Where You At Now?/Crash & Burn/ Twitch (version 2) 12:15

Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Alain Jourgensen - Vox, Producer, Engineer (Special Effect, PTP, Front Line Assembly, Prong, Revolting Cocks, Lard, Skrew, 1000 Homo DJs, Skinny Puppy, Alan Vega)
Adrian Sherwood - Producer, Engineer
Gareth Jones - Engineering
Keith LeBlanc - Percussion, Programming (Nitzer Ebb, Wolfgang Press, Tackhead, Nine Inch Nails, Sugar Hill Gang)
Patty Jourgensen - Vox
Brad Hallen - Bass (Willie "Loco" Alexander, Aimee Mann, Peter Malik, Duke Robilliard, Roomful Of Blues)
Stephen George - Percussion (Black Cross, Colortone, Elliot Easton, Ric Ocasek)
Luc Van Acker - Vox (Shreikback, Revolting Cocks, Mussolini Headkick, Die Krupps, My Life With Thrill Kill Kult)
Brian Shanley - Cover Design, Photography (Honor By August, Revolting Cocks, Askold Buk)
Adrian Sherwood - Producer

Unknown-ness: I know I've heard of this band thanks to a bunch of friends in High School, but for the life of me, I could not remember if they were hardcore or industrial. So when I saw this in a thrift store basket, I had to take a chance on it. I’m pretty sure they were more along the lines of industrial- Nine Inch Nails, and this is probably one of the bands I know more about than I think I do, but I’m curious how this one sounds out of the catalogue, and more interestingly, how this style of music (that I’ve not really kept up with) sounds in today’s world, with my current musical palate.

Album Review: “Just Like You” begins with a cold drum beat with robotics and mechanics echoing in the background. Along with a synth horn, and propaganda-like spoken word vocals. The vocals then begin, they sound suspicious and whispery (I’m reminded of the Soup Dragons), and are supported by vocals in the background that shout the title. There are a lot of techno an synth percussive beats competing for attention, along with synth keyboards and brass. Underneath it all there is a bass line that sounds like the “bow down” bridge of “Head Like A Hole.” The album’s name sake is present in this song, but I can’t believe this is not a remix. It is the shortest song, but it goes on forever. But it does finally end with a percussive fade out. I’m reminded of previous TSM entries the Borghesia and Christian Lunch
“We Believe” is slightly more driving with synth bottle neck banging percussion at the beginning. That transitions into a darker new wave keyboard samples layered to create a cold, bleak scene. The vocals are distorted through a tinny vocoder, and sound slithery sharp. The vocals sound like combination of Cobra Commander and Decepticons. The end of the song has a gruff, dying vocal that repeats the title over, layered over a crescendo of synth elements that is picking up speed and sound. But then, it just fades away.
“All Day Remix” again bring the element of war and battle with a 1-2-3-4 chant and army direction laid over 80’s synth sounds and industrial drums. The whisper-distorted vocals sound downright sunny compared to the other songs so far, and although the song is still bleak, it has a more straight forward dance club atmosphere. There is a breakdown halfway through, that is followed up with sound clips from tv shows or movies. It then kicks back into the dancey song, as if it never lost a step. A heavy breath also comes in to rhythmically drive the song along, which also finishes the song out.
“The Angel” features maraca percussion at the outset. Synth effects and vocals are sporadically peppered in, and then a vibration wave synth gives the song momentum. 2 minutes in, and the song still feels like it is just starting to put things together, with an extra echoing 2-hit drum beat. The song still feels like a sketch of a song. It is a little ethereal, but overall, empty. The repeating line of “always an angel there” features female backing vocals.

“Over The Shoulder” first sounds like an airplane oscillating between taking off and landing. Then the industrial percussion adds in, with a neurotic bubbly bass, and the elements come together like a Nitzer Ebb song. The song features what sounds like the gothic version scratching and rapping. I like the energy in this song, and the vocals sound like they are trying to hold on, being as wispy as possible. A synth wood block section that accompanies the iron works industrial beats and airline sounds reminds me of the intro to Milli Vanilli’s “Blame It On The Rain,” which came a few years later. The song features a fade out as well, but overall, it is about a minute too long.
“My Possession” repeats a well tread path at this point with jittery, boingy synth and industrial presses and gas jets. The vocals drive the song along with their snake-like trajectory. It even sounds like it could be a cover of a Devo song, just with very different application. The end features a breakdown of just the driving drums and the vocals before it kicks back in for a short sprint to the finish.
“Where You At Now?/Crash & Burn/ Twitch (version 2)” is a three part song that starts off with industrial percussion and synth effects and the similar fast, bouncy/jittery bass synth. Those effects are traded in for a fast driving drum beat, and other varients are added to keep the repetitive rhythm interesting. There are more quotes spoken and layered over the industrial Devo like melody: “I’ll Save Ya (?) & Come on Get Out Here.” Like a dream sequence, other effects and melody come in like a shaky, staticy picture. At 5:30, the song shifts with the yelling of Crash and Burn, and the song changes to rhythmic firecracker percussion. The percussive sounds shift from left to right speaker, making the echoing more like an annoyance where you cannot concentrate on where the sound is coming from. Might be cool with headphones, though. This techno instrumental portion of the song relies on a steady import and exports of sounds in precise executed segments. At 9:12 a more steady percussion takes the background, and is again and again drowned out by the bombastic, consistent firecracker effect. 10:19 dishwasher like effects leads into a final section of the song. This sounds like the music going through the minds of the people who made the Running Man universe or the video game Smash TV: industrial metal sounds and kitchen sink percussion. The end of the song is warped vocals talking about entertainment. And the album just comes to a chaotic hault.

Stand Out Track: "Over The Shoulder"


1 comment:

  1. nice tracks collection you have there hope you have great time for us i mean music lovers.....