This album, the group's first full-length release after two EPs, puts forth Bobby Sutliff and Tim Lee as New South style songwriters to be watched. Sutliff's songs are especially memorable; "Off and On" exhibits a wonderfully audacious set of chord progressions, "Can't Go on This Way" is delightfully tuneful and winsome, and "New Red Shoes" boasts a buoyant accompaniment that is irresistable. His excellent "Stupid Idea" would later appear in fuller arrangement on his solo outing Only Ghosts Remain. Lee's work is less strong here, though the guitar hook on his "All That Stuff" is naggingly memorable. "Running Out of Time" (a co-authored song) hints clearly at the energetic excellence to come in the group's late-'80s albums. And an agreeably rustic cover, complete with ragged fiddle and rough-hewn vocals, of the Television song "Glory" (given here in conjunction with the group Rain Parade) is a standout. While this record doesn't have the panache, polish, and drive of later releases (the vocals in particular lack a certain oomph), Terminal possesses a craggy forthrightness that make it well worth hearing.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Cleary