Christ On Parade - A Mind Is A Terrible Thing LP

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ÒChrist On ParadeÊstarted in 1985, rising from the ashes of local bands Treason and Teenage Warning.Ê Like much of the punk music at the time, they had an intensely political edge and very serious lyrical approach. The ÒPeace PunkÓ scene of the early Ô80s Bay AreaÑtypified by local bands like PLH, Treason, Trial, Crucifix, and Atrocity, and heavily influenced by British anarcho-punkÑhad a formative influence on many bands in the scene includingÊChrist On Parade.
ÊÒThe bandÊcoalesced into a unique hybrid of influences that could have only happened in the venue / living space that most of the members dwelled in, EmeryvilleÕs New Method warehouse. At that time, a lot of the Oakland punks were into the almost Òprog-punkÓ stylings of bands like the Subhumans, Santa RosaÕs VictimÕs Family, and the darkly paranoid spasms of EnglandÕs Rudimentary Peni. Musicianship had become a virtue rather than a non-issue. This confluence of sounds and ideas, and the fact that the East Bay was awash with LSD in those days, led toÊthe bandÕs classic album,ÊA Mind Is A Terrible Thing.
ÊÒThe album is a demonology of the dark undercurrent beneath the relentlessly inane and superficial Õ80s. Noah LandisÕs feral vocals and grindstone guitar spearhead the album with second guitarist Doug Kearney, bass player Malcolm Sherwood, and drummer Todd Kramer turning in an equal number of distinctive songs and performances. The result is brooding and angular, often catchy but never poppy. The production is raw, but this unvarnished quality serves the music rather than detracts from it.
ÊÒChrist On ParadeÕs headlined the first show at BerkeleyÕs 924 Gilman Street, the venue that would usher in a new era of poppier punk and safer spaces. The band continued for a couple years, going through member changes and releasing more great material before finally breaking up in 1989. As AmericaÕs current political and cultural climate goes from bad to worse,ÊA Mind Is A Terrible Thing sounds better, deeper and more relevant with each passing day.Ó
ÑJesse Michaels