Terry Malts’ Facebook page says they’re “thriving on barely trying,” which is an honest autobiography for the punk-drunk reincarnation of San Francisco’s beloved Magic Bullets. Talking with hometown blog Positive Destruction about “Fun Night,” a track from one of their previously released 7’’s, bassist-singer Phil Benson doesn’t feign depth or great effort: “You know, all of this is really simple. There’s no mystery. When you read what I’m actually saying—I’m talking about hamburgers.” And in the case of their debut full-length Killing Time, it's all weekends and wannabe girlfriends—but it’s with crystal-clear articulation and great aplomb. While so many of their cohorts habitually use lo-fi production to bury vocals and skirt any sort of statement, the fact that his lyrics vividly push through the fuzz has to mean something.
Having a good time is the primary matter at hand, and for Terry Malts—forever at a house party in the 90s—it’s actually quite a serious one. If the Buzzcocks covered the entire Clueless soundtrack (though The Smoking Popes’ “Need You Around” could probably stay untouched), we’d have an accurate portrayal of Killing Time. Atheism, neurosis, materialism and other occasionally weighty subject matter is trivialized into two-minute spats. Lessons we learn along the way: There is no god (“No Sir, I’m Not a Christian”), we’re all J.Crew-garbed zombies (“Mall Dreams”), and there’s no point to hard work (“Where Is the Weekend?). If life is a dead end, you might as well enjoy yourself. It’s a grand statement that never gets old.
Photo ASH MIKE