Terry Malts – Killing Time – Album Review

San Francisco trio, Terry Malts, have killed it (in a good way!) with their debut album, Killing Time, released on February 21, 2012, on Slumberland Records. While only coming in at a total of 34 minutes, this album is a simple, yet spirited power punk record. Live like there’s no tomorrow-pogo party inducer!

Terry Malts pulls the listener in on a lo-fi trip where chainsaw guitars and buzzing bass rule. Lead vocalist/bassist, Phil Benson’s power-pop vocal croon is acute and focused, bobbing just so amidst thrashing, rolling drums that obliterate the ears into submission, leaving me instantly hooked with first track “Something About You.” Simple but relatable declarations like, “Where is the weekend? I’m gonna lose my head” may feel reminiscent of yester year’s high school days but still ring true in the present. Another knockout track, “Tumble Down” shows some pop-soaked fragility with its darkly romantic catchy hooks and lyrics: “Up on the hill your hand in mine, we had ourselves a real cool time. Carving our way on the hillside, wondering what comes after life. Ba-bop-a-ba, tumble down, Ba-bop-a-ba, the hill with me, Don’t be afraid of what you cannot see.” Clocking in at a sweet two-minutes-and-a-half, this song might have made the Ramones a bit jealous.

Punk rock and its musical neighbors: working class Oi, hockey-rock, hardcore, etc., often serve as a musical outlet for expressing frustrations with oneself, other people and society at large. Listeners are fueled by these songs that stick in our memories and inspire us to move, dance, riot, shout, learn, and fall in love. Much of this album does just that across various topical scopes (examples: “Nauseous,” “Not A Christian,” “I’m Neurotic”). But in particular, “I Do” displays that spirit defiantly and directly with some kick-ass guitar riffs to boot: “People don’t know what to think of you, they don’t understand your point of view, but I do, I do, I do. And when we start to feel like they might be right, I roll my eyes and I just squeeze you tighter.”

The album rounds out with the slow tempo, feedback frenzy that is “No Big Deal.” A fitting punk rock salute on an album where you can relate, commiserate, and escape from life’s ugly pressures with music and just enjoy it while it lasts. Fuck, yeah.

Terry Malts kicks off their new tour at the Soda Bar in San Diego on Friday, April 6. Scroll down for more tour dates.


Review by Emily Saex

Artist: Terry Malts
Album: Killing Time
Record Label: Slumberland Records
Release Date: February 21, 2012

  • To Listen to/share Terry Malts’ “Nauseous” click here.
  • To Listen to/share Terry Malts’ “Tumble Down” click here.

Playlist:  Like some fresh squeezed lime in your Tecate, for additional flair and fun Terry Malts’ Killing Time is a perfect addition to that Ramones/Jesus & Mary Chain/Suburbia soundtrack playlist.


Terry Malts Tour Dates

04/06 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
04/10 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
04/11 – Houston, TX @ Mango’s
04/12 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk (inside)
04/13 – New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
04/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
04/15 – Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
04/17 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
04/18 – Baltimore, MD @ Golden West Cafe
04/20 – New York City, NY @ Mercury Lounge
04/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
04/24 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
04/26 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
04/27 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
04/28 – Englewood, CO @ Moe’s

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