“Ring”, the debut single by TERMINAL CRUSH, a new solo project from Indiana based Grey Gordon (also of Kill Surf City, Summerhead) is a sound of intimacy and warmth. Dubbed by first reviews as ‘slowcore’, the beautifully crafted full length “Columbus” consolidates many stylistic elements of various styles and goes way beyond the sole label. It compiles 7 arresting songs filled with feeling and building intensity based on simple but beautiful melodies, rendering one of the most cozy recommendations for the coming chilly evenings of autumn. We caught up with Grey to give you some more insights about this personal offering and explain each and every track below.
Comments Grey x Gordon: “This is a solo project and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, especially considering live performance in any recognizable form is sort of on an indefinite hiatus. I recorded and mixed everything myself in my room with a USB mic and a nearly decade old MacBook Air.”
“The genesis of this record was a confluence of circumstantial factors.” – continues Grey. “I didn’t really mean to make it. I had just gone through a jarring and unexpected breakup that also highlighted some health issues I’d been neglecting to look into for some time. It felt like a total upheaval. I had just begun to settle into a groove after my life was thrown into a massive amount of chaos the previous year, so to then be hit with yet another disruption when I was least expecting it totally threw me. One of the only ways I experience genuine catharsis is through music, so I began writing songs. Before long, I had a few, and they quickly coalesced into this new project, Terminal Crush.”
Asked about his plans for the future, he concludes: “Considering this was a project born of happenstance and emotional necessity, I’m not really sure what’s next. As I sort of intimated a couple times already, this entire record feels like a journal entry. I think, when circumstance dictates, there will be more Terminal Crush songs. I’ve recently lost a couple very important people in my life to cancer, and I’ve found myself plucking at my guitar late at night again. Like I said before, it’s really the only form of catharsis that works for me. Whether that translates into another record is something I can’t really answer, but it would certainly be a happy side effect of some unhappy conditions.”
“Columbus” by TERMINAL CRUSH is out September 22nd via Really Rad Records and major streamong platforms.
Track by track commentary:
This immediately felt like the opener when I started sequencing the songs for the record. Thematically, it’s a rumination on where I was at emotionally during that period of my life along with a bit of wishful thinking that maybe time could fix a thing I knew was beyond saving. And then I close it out with a riff that sounds like it’s lifted straight from Slint’s Spiderland for good measure.
This one is a cut and dry breakup song. On one hand, it’s me trying to understand my ex-partner’s position and imagine her headspace. On the other, it’s me saying, “As much as I understand you, this still feels like a rash decision and a mistake.” Musically, it’s a man with questionable levels of technical proficiency doing his best Sun Kil Moon impersonation.
Of all the songs on the record, this one is definitely the most clearly indebted to 90s emo. Specifically, I think this track has some strong Mineral vibes. I always loved the moments on EndSerenading where the guitars wove together dueling, complimentary melodies to create these hyper-dense soundscapes, and I tried my best to approximate that effect here.
A Painting of Birds
I know I said that “Shared Trauma” was my best Sun KilMoon impersonation, but really, this is. From the picking pattern to the longwinded, meandering narrative, it’s all there. This is also probably the most artless track on the album. It’s basically a glorified diary entry set to music.
You and Your Kid
The world of adult dating is complicated by many factors, not the least of which being the fact that kids are often involved. When you get close to someone’s kid, it compounds the hurt of a breakup in ways you could never really imagine. Inarticulable ways. This one is me trying to articulate them.
Let’s be frank—I am basically trying to summon the ghost of Codeine like a fucking Guardian Force in Final Fantasy VIII with this song. I really lean into the “slowcore” thing here with total commitment, but I think the result is maybe my favorite song on the record.
Dave and Gail
So, this song consists of a found recording from the 80s or 90s of a woman named Gail leaving increasingly heartbreaking messages on a man name Dave’s answering machine as he, evidently, continually ignores her and rebuffs her attempts to communicate. The final message captures a conversation between a caller and a new woman named Barb, and we’re hit with the sudden revelation that, at some point during this saga, Dave has gotten married to someone who is not Gail. I discovered the recordings on a found sounds archive I frequent and was sobbing by the end of it. I thought setting it to music was a perfect punctuation mark for the record.