Ministry (photo: Ian Young)
Wax Trax! Records, the famous Chicago-based independent record store and label, was instrumental in bringing international new wave, punk rock, and experimental music to the US in the 1980s and ’90s. Ministry, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Front 242, Underworld, Coil, Revolting Cocks, and more all released albums with Wax Trax!, paving the way for industrial music to hit the mainstream in subsequent years.
The label and store’s legacy was celebrated on Monday night at Great American Music Hall, where the new documentary Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records was shown to a houseful of black-clad fans. A panel discussion with Paul Barker of Ministry, Jello Biafra, Groovie Mann of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Julia Nash, the daughter of Wax Trax! cofounder Jim Nash and director of the film followed. To cap off the evening, Cold Cave and Ministry performed electrifying and eardrum-busting sets.