There’s something delightfully cryptic about Terry Ohms, and not simply because for the past 15 years, literally starting with his first solo album whose title (“Terry Ohms Plays Wes McDonald”), he’s been recording high voltage, yet often soulful, rootsy and jangly-rhythmic albums under an alter ego. When he’s not delighting/blasting out our ears as Terry, he’s drumming these days for the dream-psych rock band People Years, and his history extends to being the singer/guitarist for Vulture Whale and The Ohms. (Okay, we get that, but where’s the Terry come from?)
The latest single from his epic, mostly guitar blistering eight track latest opus Cold Cold Shoulder (which ironically, by the way, is blazing hot pretty much throughout) is the relatively lighthearted, super seductive, swaying retro-80s pop/rock gem “All in the Past.” But the real head scratching intrigue comes in the form of the crunchy, rumbling blasts of “What Do Mean What Do I Mean?” and the relentlessly feisty “IMO JSYK BTW.” The title of the first of these is the single song manifestation of the name of his 2011 album of that name. Ohms’ marketing team went crazy marketing that phrase, even to the point of creating bumper stickers – and you can still get them on his website, only now, nine years hence, you have an unforgettably raucous tune to connect it with.
The second? Who knows what the letters mean, but Ohms – who backs his repetition of the phrase with some incredibly empowering guitarisma and drumming - gives us something even trippier to ponder as we try: “Why does everything turn into a murder investigation?” Another pretty delightful romp is the brooding, hypnotic seven minute jam “Rock of Gibraltar,” in which Ohms seeks to escape to a far away place to be alone with thoughts that continuously weigh heavy on him.
Ohms presents a lot of fascinating conundrums lyrically and name/title wise – but for those not in the mood for brain teasers, his bright edgy rhythmic rock keeps him on, to draw from the cool title of his previous album, some splendid Terryfirma.