July 23rd, 2007


Music Review - The Terminals - "Last Days of the Sun"

One of the great missed opportunities of popular music is that the Vacuum never got around to releasing any records. Because, just going by the quality of the output of all the groups which can trace their musical family tree back to the Vacuum, if that group had ever put out a record it could well have been something fairly bloody good.

The latest such recording is the Terminals' Last Days of the Sun. This may be their fourth or fifth album... it's difficult to tell (the Terminals not being a particularly publicity-hungry band, and also not being particularly good at keeping their back catalogue in print - to the extent that this is only the third CD of theirs I've actually managed to find!) However, there's a good chance that this album is their best yet.

On this release Steven Cogle, Peter Stapleton and Brian Crook share the songwriting credits fairly evenly. Unlike Little Things, in which the Brian Crook-penned title track stood out like the proverbial from the other songs on the album, his contributions fit in seamlessly.

The opening song on the album is the characteristically sombre (and uncharacteristically quiet) Vertigo, and it's instantly apparent right from the start that Steven Cogle's voice has lost nothing of the power and resonance that made the Terminals' earlier recordings stand out from the crowd. The second track, Undertows, demonstrates a return to the organ-heavy `sixties garage rock sound the Terminals do best. Just how much Cogle's singing voice is important to the band's overall sound is obvious from Premonitions, which features whispered vocals instead and overall seems to lack something.

Other standout tracks on this album include the title track, Different Air, Creepers, and Crown of Teeth. The closing track, I Saw My Ghost, bookends this album with another impressive and quietly sombre song.

Lastly, the band seems to have changed record companies again. Their other CDs that I have in my music collection - Cul De Sac and Little Things - were released on Flying Nun and Raffmond, respectively. This new CD is released on Last Visible Dog Records - of whom I have never previously heard - and who have very kindly made Vertigo available for download.

Overall, 4½ stars out of a possible 5.