It could be that I’ve just been feeling exceptionally misanthropic lately, but I keep getting wind of happy, cheery music and it keeps making me suuuuuuper uncomfortable — as in the way you feel when you see someone unaware that they are humiliating themselves in public, especially when it’s due to hubris.
When that happens, I find it’s always better to go loud, fast, and when possible, irreverent. If that sounds a lot like punk to you, you’re pretty spot on, but we’re not going full-throttle today. This is the day we take a look at Terry Malts‘ newly-released second full-length Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere, which features more of the SF trio’s blend of chainsaws and lollipops. Ah yes, the two-part cure to misanthropy.
The group’s first album, Killing Time, knocked me senseless without warning, and when the shock of the Ramones-a-like guitar attack wore off, the melodies and hooks carried me away. In this respect, Nobody slumps a bit; the sounds are already familiar and there don’t seem to be any “Tumble Down”s or “No Good For You”s or other stand-out saviors.
If you stick around a bit, though, you’ll find that the album stands just fine on its own, offering just as much distorted sock-hop joy — except in a less immediate way. The group’s influences come out stronger of Nobody than before, giving a glimpse of how much variation there can actually be in so-called “chainsaw pop”. “Life’s a Dream”, for example, thrashes out in a very hardcore-y tempo (and in length as well, lasting 91 seconds); “I Was Not There” features several decidedly open, shoegaze-y chord structures; “They’re Feeding” even touches slightly on psychobilly tropes.
Basically, this is an album to spend some time with, which might be counter-intuitive for existing fans of Terry Malts. If you want a quick fix or a radio hit, maybe check out the first album. The bottom line, however, is that there’s more variety on Nobody and more to pay attention to.