Maybe there’s something in the water, but Australia has been bringing us some excellent bands over the last few years – from the bratty pop-punk of Amyl and The Sniffers, to The Goon Sax’s melodic indie whimsy. Another wonderful import are the impish Terry, a lo-fi quartet comprising two couples, Amy Hill and Al Montfort and Xanthe Waite and Zephyr Pavey.
This new studio album, released through the ever-reliable Upset The Rhythm label and live music company based in London, comes four years after their last, I’m Terry. It finds the band on great form, with their trademark energy and purpose utterly ramped up. Perhaps it’s the feeling of post-lockdown freedom, or it could be that they’ve had great support from none other than BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley, who cheekily refers to them as ‘the indie ABBA’.
Whatever is fuelling them, I would like a little piece of it. The tracks are effervescent and political, taking aim at Australia’s role in colonialism and ubiquitous corporate greed. The songs often sound throwaway and catchy, but they reference the global domination of News Corp, police brutality, and white, patriarchal power in a way that’s never heavy-handed or facile. For Terry, melodies and sarcasm make powerful bedfellows. They deploy both seamlessly.
Blended harmonies, sax, synth and tremolo guitar ricochet in tracks like ‘Gold Duck’, ‘Balconies’ and ‘Gronks’, the latter of which has a mid-period The Fall bounce to it.
The tracks are ridiculously short, usually around two minutes or so, meaning that the melancholic, contemplative ‘Market’ feels epic, clocking in at a mighty three-and-a-half minutes long. Their songs may be brief, then, but they pack a real punch. Sometimes, the old adage of ‘less is more’ really feels apposite.
Call Me Terry will be released on April 14th via Upset The Rhythm