Terry Ohms – Terryfirma

Right from the start of “Those Eyes,” one of nine stellar new tracks to be found on Terry Ohms’ Terryfirma LP, there’s no getting away from the chunky beat that seems to make the song so urgent and full of vitality. That beat doesn’t take any sort of time to grab our attention with both hands and draw us into a vortex of sublime melodies and neon guitar riffs that color lush lyrics instead of the other way around. Boasting a startlingly strong amount of tone and rhythm for a modern rock album, Terryfirma is one record that you definitely want to give a spin this January.

The texture of tracks like “Peaks and Valleys,” “Remember How to Live,” “Little Bit” and the aforementioned “Those Eyes” creates a volatile mood to match the freewheeling, experimental vibe of the music, and I would even say that it subsequently forges more of a defined narrative for these songs than their own lyrics do.

On the contrary, when we look at “Doubtin It,” “Bring All to Front,” the leadoff track “Mind Blow” and the pummeling “Opportunity,” it’s a tad harder to get any sort of creative context without investigating the enigmatic verses a little further. Some might find this duality a little highbrow and perplexing; I myself think it makes Terryfirma’s set all the more intriguing.

For the most part, the lyrical content of Terryfirma is pretty zany and out there, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bloated or self-serving to Terry Ohms. If anything, this is a lot more centered than his previous output, which has occasionally vaulted between obscurity and sharp emotionality, with the gap between the two mercifully being closed in this record. Just listening to “We Love You” and the cryptic but relatable “Remember How to Live” makes me realize just how far this cat has come in a relatively short amount of time.

Terry Ohms is known for making music that doesn’t play by the rules, and never has he devoted so much of an album to personifying that very ethos. He espouses the very nature of experimentalism in “Peaks and Valleys,” “Opportunity” and even the straight-up “Little Bit,” all the while making sure to stay within the parameters of accessible pop songwriting. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds in today’s cerebral musical culture, but he manages to make it look incredibly effortless in every instance presented to us here.

If you’re in the market for some tremendous experimental music with a lusty crossover appeal to more dedicated fans of college rock, pop and punk, I highly recommend securing your own copy of Terryfirma as soon as possible.

Whether you’ve been following him since day one or are just discovering his body of work through this new LP is inconsequential; Ohms’ declamatory, heartfelt songcraft is exquisitely captured in these nine songs that are likely to satisfy his hardcore followers and new listeners equally.

2019 is slated to be an enormous year for independent music, and it gets rolling with some of the best sounds yet out of one of its most underrated artists.

If you enjoyed a preview from Terry Ohms’ Terryfirma, check out his official website by clicking here. Give him a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here. Click here to purchase Terryfirma on Bandcamp.

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