I intended to check out Terry Malts several times this year, and was excited to learn that they were added to Wednesday’s showcase at the Rickshaw. The MySpace suggests they are from Bummer Town, CA, and their ‘web site’ is a massive list of taquerias in Redwood City. They are consistently compared to the Ramones, and I suppose it is undeniable, but they are so much more.
Terry Malts played a great deal from their debut, cassette only release, distracted. The guitarist donned a Shannon and the Clams hairy chest shirt and played a hollow body guitar distorted to buzzy perfection. A few songs featured shared vocals that sounded a bit like Nodzzz if they used meth instead of Ritalin. There was a delightful sloppiness to the show, and my only complaint is that the band seemed a little uncomfortable with the few minor errors that occurred. Embrace sloppiness Terry! It works. Terry Malts play the Hemlock on November 10th and Oakland’s mysterious Sugar Mountain on November 12th.
Next up, SF quartet Eux Autres, which apparently means ‘Them Others’ in French. The web site explains the pronunciation is ooz-oh-tra. I got no problems with the French, but I’m not sure a US band name should require assistance with pronunciation. It took a few songs for them to get things right, but they finally nailed it on “When I’m Up,” with well-shared vocals, expertly pounded drums (via Yoshi Nakamoto of Aislers Set and Still Flyin’ fame) and even some church bells ringing via a nifty little xylophone in a box! Allo Darlin’ say that Eux Autres are their most favorite band in the world, and I can see why. The band includes rarely heard brother/sister vocals, and occasional lyrics in French (where French belongs). Broken Bow, their third album will be celebrated with a release party at El Rio on November 18th. Check them out.
London’s Allo Darlin’ rule. Singer Elizabeth Morris is surely the hardest rockin’ ukelele player alive today. She can get the most unlikely dancers moving with her infectious passion, charm and energy — shredding on ukelele like it was a strat, then excusing the band to play a tender solo ballad. Bass player Bill Botting kicked off his shoes to accomplish the driving rhythms and kept a smile while pogoing through most of the set.
Allo Darlin’ draws influence from some questionable sources: “Kiss your Lips” is a Weezer tribute of sorts, “My Heart is a Drummer” sounds a lot like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” and, on this night, another song included a “Walk Like an Egyptian” interlude. But do not judge! Somehow they manage to take only the best from these influences, the catchy hooks, the sugary pop sensibilities. They played no covers, and their own writing is far more intelligent than the sources, with songs about Woody Allen and Stephen Hawking. Do yourself a favor and pick up their self titled recording. Whatever you do don’t miss them next time they are in town!