My fave Bay Area band of 2012 would have to be Terry Malts, hands down. Full disclosure now — I put out some of their records on my record label. Don’t let that think dissuade you from taking my praise seriously though; I *hate*most of the bands on my label. Terry Malts encapsulate for me all that is great about noisy, poppy, punky music in 2012. They’re conversant with a huge swathe of hardcore/punk/noise/pop but unlike a lot of bands don’t seem at all weighed down by that knowledge. In fact, what continually slays me is how effortless they seem. In spite of being two-minute balls of ferocious punk/pop tension, Terry Malts’ songs seem to almost float into earshot, like they were always there and the Malters just plucked them out of the air and banged them out. And what songs they are — by turns nasty, smart and funny, full of indelible vocal melodies, careening guitars, out-of-control feedback, fuzz bass and snotty attitude. Every tune could be a single, and each one tells part of the Malts story. There’s a real economy to what they do; each song is honed down to its wiry essentials, and there’s not one dull moment on any of their records. All killer, no filler, as they say.

My name is Mike Schulman, Slumberland Records head chump, and I approve this message.