Lost at the Party
Year of release: 2016
Mid-fi punk rock with a strong power-pop streak, Lost at the Party is the sound of Terry Malts opening up their sound in order to create a colorfully refined batch of tunes. If their previous work perhaps leaned a little too religiously on Ramones worship, this time there's a jangle in the band's step which feels far less referential. There's mini solos, shimmering arpeggios, catchy grooves, and lyrical tales of heartbreak, but the album's greatest strength is that it never sounds like the band is trying too hard.
There's also a heavy vibe of seminal New Zealand power-pop group The Chills running throughout Lost at the Party; with more emphasis placed on organs, keyboards, and effects than the standard verse-chorus-verse guitar attack of past material. The results are a record which tips its hat to the past while delivering tremendous ear-worm melodies that feel modern. If this is a pop album, then more power to Terry Malts.