1987's Pain Of Mind marks the inception of one of the weirdest and most powerful bands there ever was as they began their odyssey through the sonic landscape: 33 years, 13 albums and counting. These gritty punk songs bear little resemblance to what Neurosis would become, but the future was written here, and if you listen closely to these kids – barely out of high school at the time, you can hear their early influences: the guitars and existential anguish of Amebix and Rudimentary Peni, the passionate politics of Crass, the heaviness of Sabbath – and here, too, they lay the foundation for some of their enduring concerns: the pursuit of transcendence, and contemplation on the downward suck of despair.
Only a teenager could write such punk anthems as "Black," "Grey," "Life on Your Knees," and of course the title track, "Pain of Mind." They are songs of survival. With Pain of Mind, Neurosis sunk their claws into the hearts and minds of the East Bay scene like no one else. They were fucking dark, gazing right into the abyss and refusing to turn away. The cacophony of vocals on this album – Scott Kelly's unhinged screams, and Dave Edwardson's guttural growl, suggested a familiar sort of internal mania: like the voices in an unquiet mind, paranoid, but for all the right reasons. And Jason Story's original cover art perfectly captures that torment.