Neurot Recordings has issued additional commentary on the impending remastered reissue of CHRIST ON PARADE‘s A Mind Is A Terrible Thing, with words from Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Common Rider, and more.
CHRIST ON PARADE‘s A Mind Is A Terrible Thing full-length is set to be re-released alongside NEUROSIS‘ debut album, Pain Of Mind. Both initially released in 1987, these two albums will see a simultaneous worldwide reissue on LP, CD, and digital formats on May 25th. The artwork for A Mind Is A Terrible Thing has been updated by Ross Sewage (Impale, Exhumed) and remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering.
Stream CHRIST ON PARADE’s “Teach Your Children” and “Pressure To Succeed” HERE; find preorders HERE, and the 1987 bundle with NEUROSIS’ Pain Of Mind and CHRIST ON PARADE’s A Mind Is A Terrible Thing HERE.
Pollution. It’s what we’re born into. The sight of it. The smell of it. The sound of it. The weight of it. It’s the heaviest burden to bare because it’s thrown on us and we never asked for it. It’s sensory overload. Famine, sex, television, cell phone screens, stop lights, school, church, politics, pop culture. You don’t realize it’s there until a light shines on it. That’s what you get out of music. Especially THIS music. Truth be told. When you grow up life gets serious and it sucks. You just try not to let pollution suck the life out of you. CHRIST ON PARADE are the gnarly truth to all this pollution. A bunch of kids just calling it as they see it. Or smell it? It’s sounds like the old Oakland Bay Bridge. Ugly and beautiful. disturbing and familiar. It’s almost weird to call it punk because it bares so much soul. Thank god for CHRIST ON PARADE. — Billie Joe Armstrong
CHRIST ON PARADE started in 1985, rising from the ashes of local bands Treason and Teenage Warning. Like much of the punk music at the time, they had an intensely political edge and very serious lyrical approach. The “Peace Punk” scene of the early ’80s Bay Area — typified by local bands like PLH, Treason, Trial, Crucifix, and Atrocity, and heavily influenced by British anarcho-punk — had a formative influence on many bands in the scene including CHRIST ON PARADE.
CHRIST ON PARADE coalesced into a unique hybrid of influences that could have only happened in the venue / living space that most of the members dwelled in, Emeryville’s New Method warehouse. At that time, a lot of the Oakland punks were into the almost “prog-punk” stylings of bands like the Subhumans, Santa Rosa’s Victim’s Family, and the darkly paranoid spasms of England’s Rudimentary Peni. Musicianship had become a virtue rather than a non-issue. Punk musicians around the Bay were beginning to put in the hours of practice. This confluence of sounds and ideas, and the fact that the East Bay was awash with LSD in those days, led to CHRIST ON PARADE‘s classic LP, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing.
The emotional expression found in A Mind Is A Terrible Thing is not so much angry as agonized. The album is a demonology of the dark undercurrent beneath the relentlessly inane and superficial ’80s. Noah Landis’s feral vocals and grindstone guitar spearhead the LP 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. The songs feature more or less straight-ahead thrashers like “Kill Your Landlord,” apocalyptic post-punk like “Riding The Flatland,” and many examples of CHRIST ON PARADE‘s trademark, genre-defying hellscapes like “Power” and “Teach Your Children Well.”
CHRIST ON PARADE headlined the first show at Berkeley’s 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 America‘s current political and cultural climate goes from bad to worse, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing sounds better, deeper and more relevant with each passing day. — Jesse Michaels