Shattering the garage rock form with its immensity, ?Touch? was a roughly hewn boulder when it was first released in 1992. Cleaned up ? but hardly polished ? for reissue treatment courtesy of the consistently discerning Last Visible Dog label, the music has retained its strident tone for a new set of listeners to enjoy. Clambering alongside what seems like an incestuous web of underground New Zealand out-rock groups in the 1990?s, The Terminals certainly didn?t get the recognition they deserved then. This should change immediately, as ?Touch? is certainly a classic album and needs to be recognized as such!
Like a jet engine on the loose, the record takes off instantly. Thirty seconds into opening track ?Basket Case,? after Stephen Cogle has barked ?there?s a basket in your kitchen and you like it when it cooks,? the Velvets-inspired rhythm section has locked onto their groove, and Mick Elborado?s psychotic synth gurgle has filled in any remaining empty space: at that exact instant, it becomes apparent that a wild ride is underway. The sheer energy and dissonance is maintained throughout the album, only to wane at key points for us to catch our breaths (?Mr. Clean,? the title track). It?s important to note that the guitars retain a sense of jangle throughout the album, and aren?t completely buried in murky fuzz. It?s this ability to combine catchiness with chaos that sets The Terminals apart from other ?60s-inspired garage rockers.
?Touch? is a highly essential album, as far as experimental, cacophonous rock?n?roll goes. If it doesn?t make the top of everyone?s end-of-year lists for ?best album you missed when it was originally released,? it will certainly be a sin. 10/10 -- Bryon Hayes (20 May, 2008)