Terry – Terry HQ

Al Montfort is Australia’s answer to Ty Segall ­ a hyper-prolific underground zealot with a ken for garage rock. Melbourne’s version is more collaborative and less of a showman, though – Montfort plays a central role in Total Control, Dick Diver and UV Race. At least two of these groups have played Atlanta, where the unassuming Aussie carried himself not as a frontman but rather as part of a merry band of equals.

Now comes Terry, a quartet situated closer on the continuum to the clinical agitpop of UV Race than the pop craftsmanship of Dick Diver. Montfort takes a greater share of the vocal leads here, his laconic intonations cut with Amy Hill’s relatively sweet female counterpoint.

Terry HQ ping pongs between jagged, nervy post-punk and deceptively serene strummers, the two camps woven together by a lyrical obsession with death – themes of world war, hospitals and hangmen crop up repeatedly. It’s a reasonably close cousin to Swell Maps on both ends of the spectrum – Montfort’s voice even recalls a lower register Nikki Sudden.

Advance track “Third War” is something of a head fake, its soothing strummed guitars and the intro’s echo of Bowie’s “Heroes” riff constituting the album’s smoothest moment. But Terry seems unconcerned with confounding expectations – the band’s 2015 debut single played like a cunning Strokes homage. Montfort shows scant interest in genre consistency with his bands, let alone across them. Which is fine, because he’s so good at so many.

Terry HQ
[Upset the Rhythm]