Recordings (Sonic Surgery)
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Jan. 26, 2018
All so-called "art-rock" should have actually rocked. Like Terminal Mind in 1979. Prior to reincarnating as a psychedelic shaman in noisy freak-out specialists Miracle Room and, more recently, Evil Triplet, Steve Marsh was a wired and gangly punk bassist with a heartful of artful angst. Alongside future Skunks/Big Boys twins Greg and Doug Murray manning drums and guitar, Marsh – looking like David Byrne's titular psycho killer brought to life – howled nihilist anthems like "I Want to Die Young" while adding his thrum to a sound comparable to how the Ramones might have sounded had their biggest influences been Roxy Music and Can. For proof, look no further than this first-ever compilation of just a four-song 1979 EP, some cuts on Live at Raul's, then a brief incorporation of keyboardist Jack Crow. Done by 1981! A sackful of unreleased demos and live tapes moldering in Marsh's dresser drawer sweeten the deal. Modern technology strips away the grime, letting pristine blasts of sonic neurosis like "Black," "Obsessed With Crime," and "Bridges Are for Burning" call us all to arms anew.