Terry Malts – Killing Time

Goths just want to have fun! San Francisco’s Terry Malts do, at least. Frontman Phil Benson belts high-octave croons like an impossibly happy incarnation of Morrissey throughout Killing Time, the trio’s debut LP. The formerly faceless band (really, they weren’t photographed until recently) descends from their comfortable trees to host a seething, nonstop pop party where the occult doesn’t creep you out, but makes you dance instead.

These guys inadvertently crafted a supreme soundtrack to Skate Witches, a two-minute ’80s short that showcases a group of girls who own pet rats and rob boards but can hardly ride. But the filmmaker, Danny Plotnick, wouldn’t enjoy Terry Malts. Killing Time is too much a good time – he’d rather something weird and cacophonous, not super sticky like these jams.

Even on “Not a Christian,” an ode to atheism, Terry Malts doesn’t shove anyone too hard:  “No sir, I’m not a Christian/ I don’t believe in the divine wisdom.” (Fair warning: Explaining that it’s a song when you’re sporting a button brandishing those lyrics doesn’t turn the conservative frowns upside down.) Frantic tunes like “What Was It” get the same melodic treatment, too. Benson promises he’s “No Good for You,” but stiff-shouldered sways from start to finish are unavoidable. Authentic goths will likely cringe at the association, but they should probably just cheer up.

Terry Malts
Killing Time