Okay, so there’s nothing fashionable about how late I am to this party, but I was absolutely gobsmacked to learn this week — courtesy the great dark fiction writer John Boden — the badass curators/heavy metal reissue wizards at Divebomb Records had put together a head-to-toe ridiculously sick discography of criminally underrated mid- to late-80s Boston thrash masters Temporary Insanity in 2017 entitled, appropriately, Final Walk. (Available via for download via BandCamp or in physical form here.)
This eighteen song collection is the real deal and then some — dark, hard, fast, groove-conscious, top-shelf thrash that will leave you wondering…Wait, how exactly did these guys not end up on a major label?!
The record leaves such an boot-in-your-goddamn-face impression, in fact, Decibel just had to go digging to find out a bit more about how these extreme music artifacts got dug up and put on such glorious display.
Founding Member/Guitarist Michael Lucantonio: I really didn’t “start” playing thrash. I just morphed into it naturally. I was always drawn to extreme kinds of music as a kid. Or at least what I perceived as to be “extreme.” I recall that Iron Maiden was on the top of my “hard to play” or “extreme” list. Until my ears first heard Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” That was the beginning of the transformation to thrash, punk, death metal and all sorts of other interesting genres and subgenres.
There really was not intent behind Temporary Insanity. Drummer Randy Odierno and I started the band. Neither of us made a calculated choice. It just happened. Randy and I just happened to be identically dialed into the same kind of stuff that got us off at that time. Stephen Cloutman just happened in to our rehearsal space one night and we jammed. Perfect fit instantaneously. Glen Rice never tried out or auditioned. He just did it. The whole thing was very organic.
Brian Vocal Terror/Watchmaker/Final Walk cover artist: Temporary Insanity’s T.I.D.C. demo (1989) was my first foray into the world of self-released demo cassettes. I was a sophomore in high school when I acquired a copy. Before this, all of my thrash tapes had record labels attached to them. But these songs on this release were just as ferocious and bedroom-mosh-pit inducing as any of my other thrash cassettes by signed heavyweight bands…and just as professional sounding. The insert was a bit primitive, but the cover artwork of a surreal techno hellscape mixed with stick figure renderings of the band were intriguing as hell.
And yes, Glen, the singer of the band really is as large as he was depicted in stick form!
Despite Glen’s huge stature and his also very well-deserved reputation for being someone definitely not to fuck with ever, it was always great seeing him out at shows and at parties. He was and is an incredibly funny and warm person that never failed/fails to make me laugh any time I run into him. Universally loved by both Boston skinheads and longhairs alike, parties at Glen’s house were just like going to a show minus the stage-diving. The first time I entered Glen’s kitchen, I saw him casually chatting with Bob Mayo from Wargasm and Mike Monroe of Meliah Rage, who was in full gauntleted stage gear. I have never liked Meliah Rage, but you had to hand it to this guy for fully representing, especially at a house party in ’88 when wearing gauntlets was frowned upon by the new, very casual thrash crowd. I wore gauntlets on stage too, but I never wore them in the kitchen of somebody else’s home. But that was the fun environment that always followed the T.I. guys around. They just thrashed hard and loved to drink and laugh. As tough as they and their fans could be, it was always a blast wherever they were. One of my teeth is still chipped to this day from an accidental Glen Rice fist to the side of my face. Impromptu dentistry to crazed thrash is the best kind of dentistry, and did nothing to stop me from having a great time.
Lucantonio: Over time, the band definitely changed. There was the addition of Jeff Kody on second guitar. Our music started to get more complicated — for better or worse — as we “matured.” Our individual musical interest started to change and grow into what we all did post-Temporary Insanity. People change. We’re all still friends and talk quite often to this day…The Boston music scene “back in the day” was just awesome. Everyone was friends. We all hung out with each other. Backyard BBQ’s and house parties. Sometimes, we’d set up in someone’s yard and play. We all would play softball. Our girlfriends were all friends. Certainly, it wasn’t all hugs, kisses and unicorns…but for the most part, it was.
We were all kids. We didn’t know the business at all. We weren’t aggressively or strategically trying to market ourselves. Most of what we did or got to do, was kind of handed to us. I myself, was probably the worst. I just played my guitar and assumed “things” would just happen. If I could go back in time and see me, I’d punch me in the face and tell myself to get my head outtah my ass and do something. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. We got lost in our own naiveté.
Andrew/Aversionline/Writer at Divebomb Records: My friend Brian — from the band Watchmaker — burned me a couple of CD-Rs many years ago consisting of killer obscure thrash bands out of the northeastern U.S. and Temporary Insanity was one of ’em. I had talked to their vocalist, Glen Rice, about releasing a discography CD on my old record label, Due Process, a little over a decade ago. But then my label “died.” The T.I. material was so good, though, and I didn’t want it to continue languishing in obscurity. I started doing a decent amount of work with Matt and Divebomb Records toward the end of 2015, so I kinda pestered him about the project. Divebomb has been my favorite label for some time now — their reissues are absolutely top-notch across the board — so I knew that what they could do for Temporary Insanity would far exceed what I might have mustered had Due Process survived. Thankfully, Matt enjoyed the T.I. tunes as well, so we got in touch with the band and the discography release was back on track!
I had actually lost touch with Brian from Watchmaker and had been trying to find him for years, and coincidentally he reached out to me shortly before this project got back off the ground because he wanted to tell me about his new band, Annihilust. I was so psyched to tell him about the Temporary Insanity release, because without him burning me those CD-Rs, it never would have happened.
Brian: Needless to say, I was absolutely stoked out of my mind to be asked to do the artwork for this long overdue Temporary Insanity anthology CD. These guys are thrash at its finest and I am honored to have contributed something to this band who has influenced me so much. Arrogant fuck, one, two, three, four! If you are not hooked after that, you are definitely a total poser and should go back to whatever music it is you really like to listen to.
Lucantonio: As far as revisiting those times…I’ll go there anytime, anyone has any interest to hear or see about it. Those were some of the best times in my life.
We did a semi-official reunion in 2018. Our singer, Glen Rice, has an annual music BBQ party bash in his back yard where multiple bands play all afternoon. I plan to…eventually publish the entire performance with all the banter in between the songs. And there was a lot of banter.
Regarding future events. Nothing is on the books right now. We’re not planning anything but not necessarily opposed to it, either. As far as doing an official reunion at an actual venue; there’s been some offers and local interest but, for various reasons of which, I cannot elaborate here and now, we hadn’t moved forward on anything. That doesn’t mean that we won’t in the future. 2027 may be a crazy thrash year if not earlier.