Terry Malts, Killing Time

Mikael Wood

By Mikael Wood

on 02.21.12 in Reviews
Exuberant three-chord rave-ups

Junior members of the buzzy Bay Area fuzz-pop scene that’s given us Weekend and the Fresh & Onlys, San Francisco’s Terry Malts bash through their three-chord rave-ups with an efficiency that indicates a deep understanding of why we play those old Ronettes and Shangri-Las singles over and over (and over) again. Precisely two of the 14 tracks on the band’s first full-length stretch beyond the three-minute mark, and one of those is called “Waiting Room”; they know when they’re indulging themselves, these guys. But that isn’t to say that Terry Malts are slaves to history: As its title suggests, Killing Time oozes a seen-it-all deadpan at odds with the teen-dream exuberance of “Then He Kissed Me.” “I’m not trying to tell you how you should live your life,” singer Phil Benson proclaims in the appealingly slack-jawed “Nauseous,” and that’s certainly true enough. Leader of the pack? Eh, let somebody else do it.