Review Summary: The sound of Al Jourgensen finding his way To The Land of tasting minds and Psalm 69's.
Let’s be honest, every artist at one point in their career makes a progression in their music. Whether it’s backwards or forwards depends on who we’re referring to, but in this case it’s Ministry, specifically Al Jourgensen. After releasing what Al refers to as his most “embarrassing” album, With Sympathy
, he turned his efforts 180 degrees and released an album that put him on the path towards the likes of Psalm 69
and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste
. While most of the Twitch material was recorded before his debut album, Al wasn’t able to reach an agreement to release those particular songs, due to the opposition of Artista Records. While the full overall quality of the album doesn’t hold up to other Ministry classics, it does one thing right: showing the true progression and development towards a masterpiece.
is full of dark, rich synths, and deep, dance-y EBM beats. To compare it to any of the other Ministry material would be a crime because it is a different breed in itself. Released in 1986, it was considered, at the time, to be a more danceable form of electronic music, but not that of the likes of his previous effort. The album opener showcases Al’s clean vocals perfectly with “Just Like You”. Its high pitched synths blend with EBM beats, best displaying the album's overall sound quality. The album itself progresses as time goes on, and towards the end it’s almost as if the music was developing into the Ministry we more commonly hear. For a slight moment in the third track, “All Day Remix”, we get tricked into hearing what could be a step backwards. A confusing amount of Al’s soft, lofty vocals have reappeared for this album, thankfully not met with another synthpop solo. With lighter drum programming and similar beats to the album opener, “All Day Remix” is easily the catchiest of the album's seven tracks. The album's closer, "Where You At Now"/ Crash & Burn/Twitch" is a 12 minute ode to future Ministry songs. Pounding drums, harsh vocals and noisy samples clearly show Al’s interest in moving Ministry towards a darker and more abrasive musical atmosphere.
Even though the sound of Twitch
is a far-cry from what we’re normally accustomed to, the succession of the album eventually helped Al find his niche and solidify the memorable Ministry sound. Even though Al’s first two albums weren’t hugely successful, it seems (in this case) it’s better to build up to a magnum opus, and follow up with consistent material, than to come out guns blazing and leave everyone disappointed for years afterwards.