Terry - Call Me Terry Music Album Reviews

Terry - Call Me Terry Music Album Reviews
The Australian post-punk band takes aim at the crooks and scammers on its most political album yet.

Call Me Terry, the fourth album by Australian post-punk four-piece Terry, seems disarmingly chipper at first glance. Its title is back-slapping and genial, and its songs have the swaying, hummable feel of nursery rhymes. The arrangements are locked into metronomic grooves but alive with whimsical detail, like the faint woodblock on “Gold Duck” or the skronking, overblown saxophones that crop up from song-to-song. “Jane Roe” even features a garbled number chant—“4-5-6-9-1-1”—like a Wiggles sing-a-long gone wrong.

Except those numbers have a stinging significance: $456,911 is the amount of money that the right-wing anti-abortion lobby paid to Jane Roe, aka Norma McCorvey, to reverse her stance on abortion and pretend to be an evangelical pro-life advocate. Beneath its jaunty veneer, “Jane Roe” is hardened and cynical, a fairground ditty sung through gritted teeth: “Paid a sum/Took the sum to play a role/Change of mind/Baby, baby, baby, it’s your choice, you choose,” Amy Hill and Xanthe Waite sing in unison. As with nearly every song on Call Me Terry, it’s a bait-and-switch: jangly, absurdist post-punk hiding lyrics that are needling and pessimistic, drawing lines between historically significant vignettes and modern brutality.

Call Me Terry is the most political album yet from a band that was already nearly monomaniacal in its study of Australia’s rotted colonial legacy. Where you may have once been able to ignore their staunch but sometimes cryptic ideology, that’s impossible here: It’s spread across the album’s sleeve, each song paired with a photo of a politically toxic site—like the headquarters of mining giant BHP or a building belonging to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp—and a polemical blurb. (The wryly comic writeup attached to “Balconies,” the News Corp song, reads: “Family violence is preventable. Those with a mouthpiece refuse to do anything. What does power look like? Gramsci is buried in Rome.”)

Opener “Miracles” sets the tone: Drawing from the tropes that Scott Morrison, Australia’s smug, devoutly Pentecostal former prime minister, would use in his most boneheaded speeches, it’s a bouncy, increasingly frantic dance into hell. The band, in a unified deadpan, references Morrison’s bizarre promise that he would “burn” for the Australian people if elected, before turning his assertion that his wife taught him to empathize with victims of sexual assault into a perverse hook: “Jenny, Jenny, Jenny says.” Sung in the band’s affectless tone, over synths and horns that seem to be stuck in a death spiral, the words seem even more like crookery—a jingle designed to absolve guilt and keep images clean.

Appropriately, “Miracles” introduces an album that directs seething hatred toward the political elite’s crooks and scammers. “Centuries,” a crunchy, chugging barnstormer, plays a surreal game of connect-the-dots, identifying ways that those in exalted professions stay in power (“Let me take the stand/Take the taser/Take the land”) while the pummeling “Excuses” draws a line from unaccountable CEOs to their private school-educated sons: “Blazer boys take after father/No excuses, knowing loopholes/Excuses for the entrenched.” The second half of the song devolves into a squall of layered saxophones and guitars, and it plays like a pure expression of frustration: the noisy, embittered sound of letting off steam.

At times, Terry take a sideways entry toward a greater point. The Raincoats-indebted “Golden Head” seems vague and imagistic (“Replacing the golden head/Shiny yellow/Shiny confident”) unless you’re familiar with the niche politics of the Melbourne suburb of Northcote, where a golden bust was placed illegally in the center of a public park. It was rumored that the statue was supposed to be Tyler Cassidy, a 15-year-old boy shot to death by police in the same park; the statue was tipped over and removed, only to be replaced by the guerilla artists. The song’s steely lyrics, from the point of view of one of the artists replacing the head, offer rare respite, and even hope on an album whose outlook can be depressingly bleak. In this story, Terry find kinship with everyone using absurd, avant-garde methods to fuck up the system—if only a tiny bit.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Terry - Call Me Terry Music Album Reviews Terry - Call Me Terry Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on April 24, 2023 Rating: 5


Post a Comment