TERMINAL LOVERS (As Eyes Burn Clean) LP
Cleveland is another place in the USA where music history has been written during the 1970's, especially in the genre which is known under the name proto punk. Some of the more famous bands are Mirrors, The Electric Eels, The Styrenes and last but not least Rocket From The Tombs from which later Dead Boys and Pere Ubu have emerged. It's been almost 35 years ago when all this happened and Cleveland is still a fertile soil for high-quality music. This has been demonstrated once again by TERMINAL LOVERS and their third record, released by Public Guilt in November 2009. One could call this band a supergroup, because they consist of members from bands like Midnight, Keelhaul and Lung, but I think that descriptions like "supergroup" distract the attention from the most important thing, which is, of course, the music.
Their first album 'Drama Pit And Loan' has been released by Shifty Records in 2003, but their music was quite different from all the other bands on that record label. There was no filthy sludge or aggressive thrash metal, but rather a weird blend of classic rock, psychedelic metal and a small dose of 1980's pop music. It was definitely very fascinating and exceptional music. Five years later TERMINAL LOVERS released their second album 'Basement Tapes Vol. 2', but I had no chance to listen to it so I can't compare it to 'As Eyes Burn Clean'. The first thing that strikes me about the new record is the variety of influences although the music is based on the psychedelic rock of the 1960's. This is a very trippy album and still very catchy. That is something I particularly enjoy about each song. There are clear and tight structures which can cause an addictive effect.
Each song is full of details and they can also rock what they prove with 'Shadow Driver' while 'Truth Between Errors' is an epic track divided into three parts. Especially the first part 'Sacred and the Man' is finest acid rock while the middle section displays a similarity to early Velvet Underground. Once again, it's striking how carefully and virtous this guys have arranged their music. There are of course also a few cuts that are more quieter like 'Steve Ashby', a dub-inspired track that provides relaxation and contemplation. In sum, 'As Eyes Burn Clean' is a mind-blowing trip, which lasts almost 44 minutes. If you have any interest in psychedelic rock that is not only a retrospective rehash than it's worth the price. Please notice, that this record is limited to 500 copies on yellow/black swirled vinyl.