Mar 20, 2018

I moved to Texas in 2015 and have been playing catch up with first wave Texas punk since then. I can’t afford the originals, so I’m grateful for the archivists reissuing any of this stuff. I was tangentially aware of some bands (Stick Men With Ray Guns, Dicks, Big Boys, Skunks) but the Austin scene didn’t get as much spotlight as New York, L.A., or England, so going beyond the big names took some digging. I’d heard about Terminal Mind and found some songs online. When I first caught wind of this long-promised collection, I was pretty excited. Terminal Mind was of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s Raul’s scene but may have been enough on the margins that the kids weren’t calling for reissues. Or at least my friends didn’t talk about them that much. Recordings is a welcome addition to the available, um, recordings of early anywhere punk. Sonic Surgery (imprint of Austin-based Super Secret records) gives a quality reissue: 180 gram vinyl, detailed liner notes, and a few band and flyer pictures. Quality mixes of not only the self-titled EP but live songs too (including one mixed from video.) “I Want to Die Young” is Terminal Mind’s Who-like anthem, reflecting the earnest impatience and nihilism of youth. “Zombieland” easily reflects problems we face in any given year. Terminal Mind’s sound is more akin to the Skunks than, say, Bobby Soxx, and the tunes range from straight forward punkers, to proto punk riffery, to a proto-post punk attempt at sonic swirl. I was fortunate enough to catch a reunion show for the album release. Sole original member/vocalist/bassist (now guitarist) Steve Marsh recruited a solid rhythm section and I wouldn’t mind seeing if Terminal Mind does anything new. –Sal Lucci (Sonic Surgery)