That was my mantra in 1988, when industrial music was in its golden age, and I was a sucker for anything released on the Chicago Wax Trax label. Most if not all of the labelâ€™s releases seemed to have some tie-in with Ministryâ€™s main man Alain Jourgensen, whether as producer, vocalist, noisemaker. While Ministryâ€™s output was fairly regular at this point, it seemed like a new side project was debuting monthly. One of these was a pairing of Jourgensen and indie/punk Ã¼berlord Ian McKaye dubbed Pailhead.
Letâ€™s do some quick math â€“ Ian McKaye was the lead figure of the straightedge punk movement, which frowned upon drug use. Alain Jourgensen had a rep for being a walking pharmacy. This equation shouldnâ€™t have added to much, and in terms of recorded output, it didnâ€™t really. Pailhead, with McKaye on vocals and Jourgensen doing pretty much everything else, released a 7â€ and one EP. Both were later compiled onto one CD EP titled â€œTrait.â€
I first heard Pailhead shortly after its release while shopping at Chrisâ€™ Warped Records, then the coolest record store in Northeast Ohio. I recognized the trademark Wax Trax lurching sound immediately and snatched it up. I recall it being one of Wax Traxâ€™s first CD releases, alongside Acid Horse, Lard and Ministryâ€™s â€œ12 Inch Singlesâ€ CDs. For a few years, if it was on the Wax Trax label, I bought it, sound unheard.
Pailhead was interesting in that it presaged Ministryâ€™s later forays into more metallic sounds, beginning one year later with â€œThe Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.â€ In fact, both â€œMan Should Surrenderâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t Stand In Lineâ€ end up sounding like theyâ€™d fit on that disc perfectly. Remember though, this was at least a full year before. Did McKaye influence Ministryâ€™s future sound? Maybe. No? Who knows. Itâ€™s great anyway. And thatâ€™s coming from someone who, back in 1983, LOVED â€œWith Sympathy.â€
Download â€œMan Should Surrenderâ€.
Download â€œDonâ€™t Stand In Lineâ€.
â€Traitâ€ did not chart.
Neither single charted. (I mean, really. Câ€™mon.)