The Terminals are smack in the center of all that is great about New Zealand music. Members of the group have connections to The Renderers, Scorched Earth Policy, The Axemen, The Pin Group and Dadamah, and the list goes on from there. They bridge the gap between the free-form sprawl of their improvising peers and the melodic beauty of Flying Nun’s poppiest groups. The result is a ripcord of rock which sounds vital, intense and fomenting with menace.
Collected here for the first time are the singles. Released throughout the 1990s, these songs are the band’s finest moments. “Deadly Tango” blares at a syncopated pace, while “Witchdoctors” seems to crawl out fully formed from a miasma of feedback, with Stephen Cogle’s vocals sounding like incantations.
The greatness of The Terminals comes from their mastery and their ability to achieve such a powerful effect with the music they’ve created. Their music throws an intelligence into the dark and structure onto the dangerous. For anybody looking at a roadmap to New Zealand music, the songs on Singles & Sundries are essential vantage points.