Re-released in tandem with Neurosis’ Pain Of Mind, Christ On Parade’s A Mind Is A Terrible Thing is a curious record for a number of reasons: its lineup contained a pre-Neurosis Noah Landis; it was their only proper full-length; and despite a brief existence from 1985 to 1989, the band left a huge mark on the San Francisco scene. Scott Kelly has spoken candidly about how volatile their live gigs were, how unchained and rampant the sound was, and the importance of their uncompromising approach.
In all honesty, if you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if Rites Of Spring played breakneck thrash covers of primitive skate punk while sampling serial killers, this is it. Escalating in a mesmerizing fashion as it continues, some of this doesn’t even sound like it’s off the same album. The crawling “Kill Your Landlord” and waltzing “Doctors” are as disparate as you could imagine, and are part of what makes A Mind… such a compelling listen.
If you’ve got “Nothing to Live For”, then stream this song.
Even from a curio perspective, this record was worth a reissue. Fans of Neurosis’ enduring force will no doubt get a kick out of hearing the guy that hammers the organ pedals with his fists during “Locust Star” singing clanking, borderless punk, but the real joy to be had here is that this is a surprisingly mature album when it comes to songcraft. Christ On Parade’s classification as “peace punks” speaks to the knowing air that hangs over everything from “Teach Your Children Well” to the initially very weird “Old Mac Donald’s Farm”.
There’s much on here for fans of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Orange County punk as a whole, but A Mind Is A Terrible Thing goes much further. A genuinely worthy reissue and a damn fine album worthy of your time for any number of reasons.
If you want to “Teach Your Children Well”, they should be listening to this album.
The Mind is a Terrible Thing Track Listing:
01. Teach Your Children Well
02. Joshua Brown
03. Pressured To Succeed
04. TV Media Mass Murder Celebrity
05. Nothing To Live For
06. Rock And Roll Armageddon
07. Twenty Years
08. Everyone’s Crazy
09. Riding The Flatlands
10. Kill Your Landlord
11. Stupid Questions (Not To Ask)
12. Self Serving
14. Dead Meat
15. Life Sucker
17. Old Macdonald’s Farm
Run Time: 43 minutes
Release date: 25/5/18
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin/Neurot