[sic] Magazine

Terry Malts – Killing Time

First things first, no-one in Bay Area band Terry Malts appears to go by the name Terry nor Malts. Instead, frontman Phil Benson , guitarist Corey Cunningham and drummer Nathan Sweatt all hail from within the larger member base of indie/post-punk outfit Magic Bullets , a band from which they reputedly wished to take a hiatus on the grounds of simply wishing to make a bit more noise.

And noise the trio duly make, for Killing Time is an album full of breathless and aptly named “chainsaw pop”. If this description leaves you scratching your head, the opening one-two of “Something About You” and “Not Far From It” are quick to fill you in, as, fun and full of fuzz, these 2-minute markers are energetic blasts in the Ramones vein, the latter of which coincidentally contains a striking guitar solo in the throes of attempting to claw its way out of the otherwise sonically distressed murk.

Keeping the template simple, the dumb “No Sir, I’m Not A Christian” is ripe for booze fuelled head-banging, and behind its feedback and power chords, “Waiting Room also has familiar aspirations of wanting to be sedated. Drawing more on the band’s previous incarnation, “Tumble Down” on the other hand successfully combines elements of post-punk with an indie strain of new-wave. “Nauseous” takes the same idea further, ultimately losing its vocal in a maelstrom of protesting lo-fi and generally crumpled sonics that together recall the impressive scope of city-mate Weekend .

Casting its net wider still, the frenetic and speaker-blown “Where Is The Weekend” is a frayed skate-punk bomb that despite its full band and more approachable demeanour suggests at the snotty commentary of Wavves . More representative however is “I’m Neurotic” – low on variety, high on impact, it wisely decides to dole out some more of those ragged riffs and battered drums before closing with a warped and stretched Brian Wilson sample.

Changing icons momentarily, “No Good For You” turns out to be a very likeable garage-punk jam, which brings to mind some supercharged version of the Reid brothers classic “Just Like Honey”. Similarly star struck, the enjoyable closer “No Big Deal” digs a little deeper with suggestions of both surf and Phil Spector and, as if to somehow prove the band’s punk credentials, the track then draws to a close with a rendering of the quasi-famous exchange between Joe the punk and his suburban dad. The nonchalant “ Later days ” is Joe’s iconic sign-off and thus the band’s way of here saying good bye – at least until the next time that is.

In spite of all this, Killing Time isn’t an album that takes itself too seriously, its fast-tempo, Cunningham’s undeniable ability to shred and its head-rush pop all amounting to quite the white-knuckle ride. Though a few numbers deserve no more than the shrug they’ll get, Killing Time has the sort indefatigable spirit that should cement the name Terry Malts in good stead. Later days, guys. Later days.

Advised downloads: “Tumble Down”, “No Good For You” and “No Big Deal”.

~Killing Time is out now on Slumberland .~

Terry Malts @ myspace