[Upset The Rhythm; 2016]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: indie rock, psych pop, dirge, garage rock, punk
Others: Thee Oh Sees, Deaf Wish, Sic Alps, Swell Maps, Tyvek

Fun is infinite. Where is it? Everywhere! To play is divine. How high? Immeasurably! Rock is dead. How dead? We can’t eat it without getting sick. Got sick? Stayin’ sick? Puking it? Get it on tape! Distressed progressions progress in regressed undress, and I can’t finish my pudding no matter how much faith I have in its placebo-restorative faux-properties. I see this chicken being strangled and am brusquely macro-zoom lens divebombed into its panicked bulging eye. He doesn’t understand what’s happening. Doesn’t like what’s happening. Press reset. Apathy and intent at the tug-o-war rope (made from catgut, or horsehair, or antelope snout), pulling harder to spite the other. I see the futility and admire its poise. Its haircut. Its artful muss. I hear bones on the drums and blood on the guitar, ringing and wringing. I look up ‘cause I’m not wearing any shoes to gaze listlessly upon. I’m looking up ‘cause I’m gonna die. So are you. Oh, my love!

Twisting out of the grip of what’d swaddled you all those years. Twisting out and buckling like a hatchling with gut feelings. It’s gonna be, it had to be, it’ll always be a hard life. No matter who you are. Momentum is elusive, so you better find a habitrail proxy lest you lose that twinkle. Buck up and pedal up that rise — it’s just a mosquito bite to the moon. Steal that moment’s grace and put it in a gilded perspective. Look hard with jaw set. Smile, you’re about to dance like a fucking child. Smile and shout and swing on the inert and active volcano beats alike. No one is ever watching without a twinge. No one is ever passive. Wallflowers are (tired) participants in a compacted pattern cluster, same as any of us. Their chilly observance is a broken wing allemande left to a musty middle distance (not even nowhere!).

“Why wait to get your head beat? Mean street is waiting still.”

It’s about shaking out of HD museum proctor gaping and growing those callouses. It’s hot here now (Upstate NY). Not Australia hot, but hot enough to be oppressive. To make people around here use the word “oppressive,” when there are parts of the country and the world at large that are literally on fire. A lifetime of relativistic rationalizing is being strained. I should go into that heat, breathe deep, and sweat like the waste-producing organism that I am. Base sensations are solid, even comfort zones are a trap, as we all know. After two smashing EPs featuring cryptrock anthemicness and breezy, infectious Bats-style pop alike, our sleeping heads are lapped by the hot dirty water of TERRY HQ. We push through to purpose w. haze, rattle those pins.

After a firey, “Shadowplay”-style opener, TERRY has us seeing dead bugs on drumheads with lugubrious seedy charmers that fly low before that Total Control influence swoops caustically into view and shaves down the treeline. It blessedly goes on like this till the “Heroes”-on-glue space folk skronk of “Third War,” never to return to rock again. The whole 38-minute affair whips by despite its swampsucker tendencies and the lack of anything as instantly winning as their debut single. It ends with the dire dirge, “Hang Men” (check that nightmarish interlude!), which hits home both the bad vibe prerogative and novel invention of the album. TERRY HQ is a fun time despite itself, you, and anyone else who might be creeping on that fence. It’s really the best shitgaze psych-pop album since Sic Alps’ Description of The Harbor. Maybe even better. But it’s just as promising and (perhaps more importantly) well built for the disappointment that’s surely our due.

Links: Upset The Rhythm

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