ALBUM REVIEW: Terry – Terry HQ

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Rating7.5Terry – It’s not the kind of name that screams rockstar or great commercial ambition and as such it’s a fitting moniker for this Melbourne quartet comprised of members of skewed rock ’n’ roll, underground royalty bands such as Total Control, UV Race and Dick Diver. They operate firmly in the realm of woolly and wonky, lo-fi indie rock with a healthy strain of blank-faced post-punk.

The overriding feature of Terry HQ is the balance they’ve achieved between leftist political commentary, daily minutiae and hook-heavy, glam-tinged primitive melodies. It’s the kind of sound that Sonic Youth captured in their mid period circa Dirty and Goo. The guitars are either rich with fuzz or loose-limbed jangles, making them not-so-distant cousins to New Zealand’s The Clean and The 3D’s. When they lock into a simple rhythm, as they do brilliantly with the bass-line on ‘Hot Heads’, they hit that effortlessly cool vibe where the mantra-like vocals, with their deadpan delivery, catalogue a list of events and details in their real and probably imagined daily lives.

‘Don’t Say Sorry’ veers toward Buzzcocks brio with it’s simplistic gonzo approach and nervy Wire meet Pere Ubu woozy guitar lines that threaten to completely careen off the tracks at any given moment. Again, it’s all about the balance, that fine line between avant-garde dissonance and friction and the appeal of direct musicality and lyrical economy. Vocals are shared around and songs that feature both sexes (‘Chitter Chatter’) instantly feel more lively and urgent thanks to their ‘gang chant’ quality. There is certainly magic in the combined abilities of the band members, enough to threaten their ‘day job’ bands at times. Terry it seems, is way more interesting than he sounds.

Chris Familton

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