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Album Review
Terry HQ

Terry HQ
by Terry

Upset The Rhythm

Review Date
5th July 2016
Reviewed by
Chris Familton

Terry is not the kind of name that screams "rockstar" or "great commercial ambition" and as such it’s a fitting moniker for this Melbourne four-piece, comprised of members of skewed rock ’n’ roll underground royalty 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 3Ds. When they lock into a simple rhythm, as they do brilliantly with the bassline on ‘Hot Heads’, they hit that effortlessly cool vibe where the mantra-like vocals - paired with their deadpan delivery - catalogue a list of events and details in their real (and probably imagined) daily lives.

Lead single ‘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 track 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 (e.g. ‘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.


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