Album Review: Terry Malts – Killing Time




If you’re going to join the already well-populated garage rock scene of San Francisco, you have to make some seriously memorable noise to stand out, and Terry Malts certainly does that. Killing Time takes the familiar trends found in present lo-fi acts and adds a dose of melodic pop, sending listeners into an high energy spiral of attitude and urgency. The fuzzy aesthetic we’ve come to expect from similar noise-making counterparts is there, but Killing Time brandishes an entertaining personality that breathes fresh life into a tried and true trend.

Killing Time is presented hastily, with a majority of the tracks spanning no more than three minutes before catapulting listeners into the next unruly burst of guitar and drums. But in their reckless simplicity the trio displays a nonchalant persona that takes timeless life woes and turns them into catchy but curt anthems. Take for instance the brisk declaration of atheism found on “Not A Christian”. While they might find that “church is simply too boring”, the plodding appearance of agile drums and shrill feedback comprise a track that is anything but.

Lead vocalist Phil Benson displays a defiant sneer, particularly while taking biting jabs at an ex lover on “Nauseous”. His use of repetition (“your love makes me nauseous”) is prominently featured despite the occasional overwhelming moment of scuzzy backing guitar. Even when the stabs are against him during moments of self-loathing on “I’m No Good”, the rowdy fun is still hard to resist.

The band’s self-described label of chainsaw pop is entirely befitting on this debut, full of raucous tracks edged in serious bite. Killing Time is a full throttle ride from start to finish, and we’ve been invited along on what sounds like a promising journey.

Essential Tracks: “Not A Christian” and “Nauseous”