Early Trax

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Hardly as ambitious as the side project rounding-up Side Trax release, Ryko's Early Trax basically puts the old Twelve Inch Singles (1981-1984) back in print and adds some bonus tracks that are worth hearing for Twitch-era fans. "Every Day Is Halloween" is right up there with "Bela Lugosi's Dead" for some, and "All Day" is nearly as good, but you really have to consider how many dated mixes of the two you can stand before purchasing this. The track order of the original Twelve Inch Singles made much more sense than this since it separated the remixes more from the originals. Nice to have them available again -- and nice to remember Ministry used to use a popping bassline once in a while -- but it's the unreleased bonuses you're here for, isn't it? Despite some horrible lyrics, "He's Angry" is fascinating since it bridges the gap between "Every Day" and Twitch, while "I'm Falling" is shocking because of its unapologetic swiping of Sisters of Mercy's detached delivery. You can't blame Ryko for Ministry's scant output from these early days; the band was going through label problems and style readjustment. While there's not enough unique material for the merely curious, fanatics should upgrade, and those without a copy of "Every Day Is Halloween" should have their black lipstick taken away.

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