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NEUROSIS - Pain Of Mind cover
2.26 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1987

Filed under Hardcore Punk


1. Pain of Mind (03:06)
2. Self-Taught Infection (03:01)
3. Reasons to Hide (03:02)
4. Black (04:55)
5. Training (01:02)
6. Progress (01:46)
7. Stalemate (02:29)
8. Bury What's Dead (02:05)
9. Geneticide (02:34)
10. Ingrown (02:23)
11. United Sheep (03:06)
12. Dominoes Fall (03:00)
13. Life on Your Knees (02:20)
14. Grey (02:41)

Total Time 37:38

2000 reissue bonus disc:

1. Stalemate (live at Gilman '88) (02:48)
2. Black (live at Gilman '87) (06:09)
3. Instrumental (live at Gilman '88) (03:12)
4. Grey (live at WFMU '89) (02:38)
5. Pollution (live at WFMU '89) (03:52)
6. Life on Your Knees (demo) (02:49)
7. Reasons to Hide (demo) (03:21)
8. Ingrown (demo) (02:40)
9. Pain of Mind (demo) (03:49)
10. Dominoes Fall (demo) (03:16)

Total Time 34:38


- Dave Edwardson / bass, vocals
- Scott Kelly / guitar, vocals
- Jason Roeder / drums
- Chad Salter / guitar, vocals

About this release

12" vinyl LP and cassette released 1987 on Alchemy Records (VM105).
CD and cassette re-released 1994 on Alternative Tentacles Records (VIRUS 146C).
2CD album with bonus CD reissued 2000 on Neurot Recordings (NR001).

Thanks to graphix, NecronCommander, Bosh66, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
It’s always a pleasure to discover a band that hits your magic music spot and climbs to the top of your list in terms of quality, consistency and overall satisfaction in the diverse elements department. NEUROSIS is one of those bands for me that has amazed me time and time again with their unique take on the sludge metal elements of early Swans and progressively steered them in myriad directions. All the years i’ve been into this mostly post-metal sludge band from Oakland, CA i have only had the albums beginning with “Souls At Zero” on as my frame of reference. Somehow i just never seemed interested in the first two because they were described as hardcore punk and although i do indeed love various punk bands, i just never felt it a priority to infuse my senses in NEUROSIS’ style of hardcore. Well, i finally got the debut PAIN OF MIND and after listening to it a few times, now i wanna burn down buildings for no reason and spit fire in people’s faces and scream aaaargggghhhh!

Well, this debut is exactly as i expected. It is indeed hardcore punk in the vein of Discharge, Black Flag, Amebix, Die Kreuzen and all the other hardcore punckers who crave speed, distortion and most of all volume. Turn it up to 11 and then take it to 12 it seems. The album was originally released on Alchemy Records in 1987 and then picked up by Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles in 1994 and then finally moved over to the band’s own Neurot Recordings in 2000, which is when it was finally re-released with a bonus disc and much easier to track down. While this sounds like a totally different band if you’re accustomed to 90s NEUROSIS, it still has the main three members who have been on board for the band’s entire run namely Scott Kelly (vocals, guitar), Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums).

The music is very much the typical hardcore and crust punk with elements of crossover thrash as heard in bands like Suicidal Tendencies, however even at this stage there are a few elements that hinted at the future path the band would undertake however it would have been impossible at the time to predict they they would blossom into anything of merit. One example is how track 2, “Self-Taught Inflection” has a repetitive slowed down melodic riff as an opener that is a tiny clue to the direction that the band would continue in starting with “Souls At Zero” but after a nice run it ultimately succumbs to the gravitational pull of the hardcore punk and crossover thrash elements that dominate PAIN OF MIND. Tracks like “Reasons To Hide” have mellow almost classic 80s metal intros with arpeggiated guitars but they too soon turn to hardcore punk but retain dual guitar assaults with one guitar grunging it up while the other performs more thrash type riffs but it too strays into punk territory with the rhythmic chugging assault and shouted lyrics.

The album retains its energetic delivery throughout the entire run and at times really does sound like Discharge when at its most pure punk moments but it’s those little elements that differentiate them on the few tracks where they include them. As punk rockers they have the sound down pat and the energy level to match. All the punk boxes are checked appropriately and then double checked because that what punk rockers do i assume. Personally i’m glad i’m finally checking this one out but unlike some bands that lose the critics due to being overly experimental and turning out to be something i actually like a lot, PAIN OF MIND is basically a generic retreading of all the early 80s punkdom that came before. Whilst the smattering of unique ideas succeed in giving the band something to build off of for the future, they unfortunately are too few to give the album any true character of its own and ultimately sounds like any old punk band from that era albeit performed exquisitely. Ahh, NEUROSIS you have become one of my favorite experimental metal bands over the years but even you can’t make me love this one! Even the bonus disc on the 2000 re-release with live performances and unreleased demos isn’t enough to make this one essential by any means, however as a huge fan of the band, it is nice to have this one so very much a hardcore fan’s type of album unless you just have to own every punk album ever released.
The groundbreaking post metal band Neurosis started out as a hardcore band. The style here on their debut is influenced by early hardcore bands like Discharge, Carnivore, Suicidal Tendencies and Beowülf. Which means fast angry punk-like songs which usually lasts for 1-2 minutes each.

There is one exception to that concept here on Pain of Mind. Black is a bit different as it is a bit more melodic but the rest of the songs are primitive and generally pretty fast hardcore. There are slower parts in some of the songs though. The vocals are extremely aggressive. Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till share the vocal duties and it sounds great in my opinion. Really angry stuff. The musicians play pretty sloppy and there is a lot of noise and feedback on Pain of Mind. It suits the style perfectly.

The production is garage like, it sounds like the songs are recorded live in someones garage/ Basement. Really raw and primitive sounding.

Pain of Mind is not an album I would listen to every day, but when I do it´s pretty great. I will only rate it 2 stars though as this is clearly only for the diehard fans of Neurosis or fans of the eighties american hardcore scene. I´ve heard better from the scene but this one is allright.

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