These oddballs make music somewhere between psych rock, indie rock and post-punk and swish it all together until you feel like you're standing upside-down. A New Zealand super-group of sorts, their music is delightfully freeform, as evident in the blurred guitars of "The Deadly Tango". The songs 'Singles and Sundries' has to offer come from releases and recordings throughout the 1990s and are recommended for fans of surprisingly heavy, decidedly abstract guitar pop: they make a good replacement Pop Group.
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- Singles and Sundries by The Terminals
8/10 Robin Staff review, 26 September 2014
Dissonant chord sequences and vocals that sound like they've been tracked in another room, the door slightly ajar: those things best characterise the Terminals, a band who's music usually sounded like it was banging against prison bars in a bid for escape. The scrappy, desperate tunes that make up 'Singles and Sundries' show them at their best, making refusing, arm-folded punk rock that only occasionally let its listener in from the cold. They recall the Pop Group, in that sense, though fans of contemporary noise rockers Women might be able to trace a lineage here too, in the pulsating grooves that nail theses shitgazing songs into place -- "Do the Void" lives up to its name, squeezing out every ounce of feedback it can into a torrid instrumental that keeps squealing for as long as the rhythm section can stand it.
Part of noise rock's appeal is its disregard for itself, and for the most part, the Terminals aced that. There's a self-deprecating nature to vocalist Stephen Cogle, who surely influenced acts such as Unwound with his indifference; in tracks such as "Do The Void" and "Deadly Tango", he screams and mumbles but never enunciates, knowing that no one's really listening. At other times, though, he's mixed loudly and proudly, and uses the opportunity to sing in a dramatic, sweeping tenor not dissimilar from new rock collage team Ought -- like them, "Raining in My House" is kind of like listening to Slint sung by David Byrne. Songs like this show a more contained, reflective side to the Terminals, and moments like the twinkling guitar in "Both Ends Burning" show an overall healthier, happier band -- but there's always extra sound being mined, extracted and culled in the background. The Terminals were always murdering a guitar. That is, of course, a good thing.
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