Steve Smith & Born Again – The Mind is a Battlefield

Steve Smith & Born Again
The Mind is a Battlefield
1988 Patmos Records
Marysville, California, USA

Steve Smith – Vocals
Debbie Smith – Vocals
Patty Baker – Vocals
Gray Jason – Guitars
Wyman Harrell – Guitars
Rodney Waters – Bass
Gary Brewster – Drums

Side 1:

  1. The Mind is a Battlefield
  2. Holy Lord
  3. Hand of the Lord
  4. Messiah

Side 2:

  1. Starting Over
  2. I Stand
  3. I Can’t Help It
  4. Reap the Fields

So this one starts off with an impressive Journey-esque near hard rocker that makes you think you are going to get a nice slab of AOR. It is on the same label as Philadelphia and Terms of Peace as well. But they take a hard mellow turn into a ballad for song two, which is not a bad thing, but it kind of shoots down the AOR thing. In fact, several songs like “Holy Lord” sounds like they could have been on an 80s praise and worship CD. They never really come back to the sound of the first track, mainly staying with fairly tame rock. Well-played and written rock, but it seems weird to have two guitarists and not rock out more. “I Can’t Help It” is probably where they come the closest to rocking out again.

Terms of Peace – Thunder Cracks

Terms of Peace
Thunder Cracks
1985 Patmos Records

Paul Case – Vocals
Mark Case – Guitars
Keith Moore – Bass
Mark Snell – Drums

Side 1:

  1. On My Way
  2. Rise Up
  3. I Think I Know
  4. Valley of the Souls
  5. Greater Love

Side 2:

  1. Thunder Cracks
  2. Every Day
  3. Your Love
  4. Live Now Live

I’m not totally sure if this album belongs in the tape underground, as it was released on a label that also released bands like Philadelphia. I actually own this on vinyl, but my copy is pretty scratchy. So hearing a pretty clean tape transfer was nice. This tape had no cover or label indication, but some decent printed tape labels, so I am guessing this was a promo copy sent out for review? Anyways, Terms of Peace was a mid-80s alternative rock band. They leaned towards the pop side of alternative, with a touch of roots rock here and there, all while avoiding new wave influences while still featuring keyboards. Also a bit of U2 in the guitars. This was a pretty quality effort that I have always liked, even though it seems to have gone under most people’s radar. I wonder how long it took them to get that cool cover photo of the band walking while lightning strikes in the background? Or is it a doctored photo?