Christ On Parade rose from the ashes of local bands Treason and Teenage Warning in 1985. Like much of the punk music at the time, they had an intensely political edge and very serious lyrical approach. The "Peace Punk" scene of the early ‘80s Bay Area – typified by local bands like PLH, Treason, Trial, Crucifix, and Atrocity, and heavily influenced by British anarcho-punk – had a formative influence. The group coalesced into a unique hybrid that could have only happened in the venue/living space that most of the members dwelled in, Emeryville's New Method warehouse. At that time, a lot of the Oakland punks were into the almost "prog-punk" stylings of bands like the Subhumans, Santa Rosa's Victim's Family, and the darkly paranoid spasms of England's Rudimentary Peni. Musicianship had become a virtue rather than a non-issue.
This confluence of sounds and ideas, and the fact that the East Bay was awash with LSD in those days, led to the band's classic 1987 album, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing. The album is a demonology of the dark undercurrent beneath the relentlessly inane and superficial '80s. Noah Landis's feral vocals and grindstone guitar spearhead the album with second guitarist Doug Kearney, bass player Malcolm Sherwood, and drummer Todd Kramer turning in an equal number of distinctive songs and performances. The result is brooding and angular, often catchy but never poppy. The production is raw, but this unvarnished quality serves the music rather than detracts from it. As America's current political and cultural climate goes from bad to worse, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing sounds better, deeper and more relevant with each passing day.