Three long years after 2013’s ‘Nobody Realises This Is Nowhere’, Terry Malts’ Phil Benson (bass/lead vocals), Corey Cunningham (guitar/vocals) and Nathan Sweatt (drums/vocals) have been hard at work putting in the hours both on and off stage, polishing their animated punk fuzz for their latest entry, ‘Lost At The Party’.
Each song on the record is an exploration of their stockpile of punk influences, from The Undertones and The Buzzcocks to The Ramones and Henry’s Dress. But ideas of a new wave incentive are omnipresent throughout. And it doesn’t end with Benson’s Roland Orzabal-esque definite vocal tone. At times, Cunningham will layer the punkier implications from Sweatt with a cleaner, chorus-y tone that departs from the aggressive delivery heard on ‘Killing Time’.
Kicking off proceedings are the spunky pairing of ‘Used To Be’ and ‘Won’t Come To Find You’, which blend 80’s vocal reverb and a ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ foundation of running bass-lines and accelerated hi-hats that characterise the band’s revival of the post-punk aeon. Where the aforementioned nodded to a “rock ‘n roll” Ramones palate, and made a fruitful attempt to rally a resurgence of an orthodox punk sound in general, the nostalgia felt on ‘Gentle Eyes’ and its jangling instrumentation stages a return for gothic rock respectively.
Successors ‘Waiting For The Bomb’ and closer ‘When The Nighttime Comes’ pussyfoot around their prevailing punk-rockabilly vibe, which tracks like ‘And Suddenly’, lead single ‘Seen Everything’, and ‘Playtime’ capitalise by priding themselves on being the life and soul of the party that the former two seemingly drained out. ‘Come Home’ then practices distorted fuzz and a militant snare-action to typecast a surfacing of the rock behind punk and then some- The only downside being that there isn’t enough of it.
Of all Terry Malts’ entries into their 5 year canon, this is by no means their most conventional and, thus, strongest; much like a lot of bands who begin to develop – or “mature” – their sound over a period of time, the band aren’t seemingly strangers to this sort of metamorphosis. In that respect, then, ‘Lost At The Party’ will not be a massive fan favourite, though, despite the contrary, it makes for an enjoyable listen.