Originally slated for release by SST Records in 1985, Starin Down the Sun was intended to be the debut album by southern California's Magnolia Thunderpussy, but the disc went unreleased when the band broke up. This union of live and studio material -- which harks back to the heyday of other SST outfits like the Minutemen and the Meat Puppets -- has finally seen the light of day 20 years later. Inspired and youthfully exuberant -- MTP's members were about to exit high school when this disc was recorded, and the studio time was purportedly a graduation gift from one of their parents -- these 20 numbers mesh the fury of punk ("M.A.C.H.") with the fluid vibe of jam bands ("Serendipity"). Granted, much of this material gets recycled in concert form, but one listen to the twangy immediacy of "Circle" and it's hard not to feel in awe. In the liner notes, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore proclaims "they shoulda been massive." As usual, that lanky bastard is right on the money.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen