Thursday, 28 October 2010

Wax Trax!: Ministry.

Somewhere between the hardcore and aggressive metal-infused industrial music Ministry became known for -- "N.W.O.," "Just One Fix," "Stigmata," and "Reload" are some of the tracks that come immediately to mind -- and the 1983 new wave oddity With Sympathy, which featured longtime provocateur and leader Al Jourgensen singing melodic pop songs with a feigned English accent (Ministry sprouted from Chicago, IL), they released a total of four 12" singles on the Wax Trax! label. Of these four, one of them spawned what would become, arguably, Ministry's most popular and well-known songs. I'm speaking, of course, of the single for "All Day" (WAX 007) -- the B-Side was "(Everyday) Is Halloween." I'm sure you've heard of it? Whilst Jourgensen despised With Sympathy (he famously referred to it as "an abortion of an album"), "All Day" was included in Ministry's 1986 followup, Twitch, which gave listeners a hint in what direction Jourgensen (along with new partner Paul Barker) would follow with 1988's The Land Of Rape And Honey.

But let's focus on "(Everyday Is) Halloween," shall we? Who can forget the intro and its steady drumbeat and drone-y synth, with those "bop ... bopbop's" in the background as Jourgensen (still in faux-English accent mode) sings, "Well I live with snakes and lizards and other things that go bump in the night"? I can't. It's admittedly a rather simple song -- existing in a realm between the banal and the extreme -- but you gotta admit, it's pretty fucking catchy. No Halloween celebration would be complete without this track being on the playlist; and we have Wax Trax! to thank for that. Happy Halloween from your friends at Second Drawer Up -- for those about to dress up, we salute you.

"(everyday is) halloween"
all day / (everyday is) halloween 12"

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