Crate Skimmers #37 Terry – Terry HQ

Owned since: 2016

Genre: Australian indie rock

Where I bought it: Straight from the label

Year: 2016

Label/pressing: Upset The Rhythm

It took a surprisingly long time till I covered another Upset The Rhythm record, with the previous one being BARR’s bizarre mix of spoken word and indie rock. I’m not much of a label guy, and mostly just listen to bands more then watch out for new releases on labels, but Upset The Rhythm is one of the few labels I’ve kept up with since forever. Based out of London, the label has been home to a lot of oddball indie rock and related stuff since forever and also books a ton of great shows. Some releases include John Maus, some Xiu Xiu stuff and Nots but their main style mostly seems to be lo-fi fun post-punk influenced stuff. Something a whole wave of Australian bands like Primo, Boomgates and Vintage Corp, among many others, bring out in various ways. Terry very much belongs to this, with band members coming from such Australian indie mainstays like Constant Mongrel, Total Control and the East Link but differing quite a bit from those bands’ more abrasive noise rock-ish sounds. 

Terry HQ is their first record released way back in 2016 and, well, it sounds like the sleeve looks. Slightly rambling lo-fi indie-rock that reminds of The Go-Betweens but also bands like Television Personalities with a heavy emphasis on girl-boy vocals and that Australian bored snarl you hear in a lot of those bands. Also, a drummer but also a drum machine in several of the songs that even make it more deadpan. The ‘big single’ of this was called Hot Heads and sounds like The Go-Betweens really got into downers and line dancing for some reason, which is like a fine way of living for me. 

The band is made out of 2 couples, but like one of their press releases once noted there is nothing really romantic about this record at all. Just a kind of odd, lovely, slightly off indie rock you came to expect from Australia if you have been following its scene in the last 15 years. Even the guitar solo riffs here feel like they’re played by someone either very asleep or who is so bored he can only just muster a couple chords. A lot of repeating choruses, also. When I first heard Hot Heads it haunted my head for a good week, no joke intended. Just the right kind of slightly offbeat but not too far off the beaten path rock music that just sticks and works for me. It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s very infectious and one of the more longer lived bands of this scene (3 albums and several EPs count at this point) mostly through how fun it all sounds. 

It all is vaguely political also, my understanding of Australian politics honestly sucks so a lot of it passes me by, but the third album is just shouting out female parliament members in some of the songs. Anyway, something I can get into here are the lyrics. They’re pretty great about talking a lot about men who don’t want to apologize, being bored as shit and just well dying in a flood. Grade A stuff honestly, can’t wish for more than that even more so when it’s sung in a deadpan Australian accent. 

Even more this is very much split in two sides; the A-side being called Side Auckland and the other side being called Side Bulli. The Auckland side is where the more catchy, poppy stuff is at for sure and the Bulli side showcases their more post-punky leanings with Third War reminding me of some of the best Swell Maps stuff, which is high praise. 

It’s one of those records I really like but besides going ‘good post-punk tinged indie rock’ I don’t have a lot to say about honestly. Still it’s great, as is the rest of the band’s output. But like the 24 minute running time on this record, I will be short on this because honestly saying more would be just filling a void you could spend listening to this great record. Listen to Terry, they’re not really a band but also a person in their press releases. Speaking off here is a bit from the press release of this record:

“White denim, Explorer Socks, Uber, Gore-Tex, the Internet. We live in an information age but we are lonely Terry. We can’t rack up what you’ve got. Tell me about the singles night on the Pyrenees highway. Tell me about those bad choices, about ‘The Bin’ and how we dance around it. Teach me about yearning, indignation. Teach me, that I may learn for myself. I’m a lady with a fork in a world of gravy. Get me a spoon Terry. Teach me to fish.” – Steph Hughes

Australia, you bunch of weirdos. 

Slooty HQ: This album rips. Too bad their press releases have the tiniest font.