The last time out Terry Malts ruled my world with Killing Time, so I was curious to see where they could go from that point. Would Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere top the previous effort? Would it fall off? Well, after spending the last few weeks listening to the record on repeat, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s much the same, in a good way, though I feel like there’s a heavier punch this go round.
“Disconnect” begins the album off in much the same way that Killing Time left off, blasting off with guitar explosive guitar riffs and darkly tinged melody in the vocals. It’s not breakneck speed until it pounds out near the 1.19 mark, yet it reverts into this interesting melody that works alongside, including a light backing vocal. And with such a post-pop hit, it’s interesting how the band moves right into the furiously punk “Life’s a Dream.” Envision circle pits with smiles, and then the track ends.
It’s hard to find out standout moments on Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere, as the group are so consistent in their songwriting that it’s hard to pick out a favorite. Can I take them all? Of course, “I Was Not There” should be on everyone’s year-end list. The crunchy distorted guitar operates in such a forceful manner that it completely works against the seemingly spoken-word lyrical delivery. That being said, Terry Malts always manage to unite such things, which is why I can’t help but tap my feet and bounce around the room when this song is on full blast. It fits perfectly in the mix, going into the poppier “No Tomorrow.” While the pounding drums stand out on this tune, I really like the way the vocals are delivered on this song. The notes are held long longer than usual, and they make way for this electric soloing guitar that pointedly knifes its way through the track.
One of the differences that I have noticed here is that Terry Malts seem to have gone to the darker corner of punk on this release. Their last record sounded like a beautifully modern Ramones LP, but this time songs like “Walking Without You” and “So Serious” take on the heavier area, at least in regards to how the music comes across. They’re not nearly as pummeling in speed, though you’ll hear a noisier element to these tunes. Luckily, even with that approach, they don’t lose their pop sensibility. One spin of “So Serious” and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Heavy meets pop and it equals perfect tune.
It’s possible that I’m predisposed to love this album, seeing how much I enjoyed their first release, but I can say, assuredly, that this isn’t some fanboy letter. Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere takes on the noise in a different manner than its predecessor, though still wraps you up in melodious hooks that invade your soul. With such an array of great songs, it’s hard not to enjoy this record, so be sure to pick it up as soon as you can.