Photography by: Jonathan Navarro
Saturday night at Bunk Bar opened with local punk band Marriage + Cancer. Their raucous music could be heard a block away from the venue and they were the perfect band to lure people into a great show.
Headlining was Terry Malts who recently released their third LP Lost at the Party, their first one in three years. As soon as they stepped on stage, you could tell they were there more than just to play music but to have a good time and to make sure everyone else had a damn good one too. Frontman Phil Benson wore smiles on his face from start to finish, even as he fixed technical issues during songs. He gyrated back and forth, almost in a Carlton from Fresh Prince sort of way, and made faces that had the crowd smitten. Additional guitarist, Jake Sprecher, stood in a Brit-punk power stance as he strummed with animated force. Each member continually engaged with each other and with the small audience in between songs, which felt natural in such an intimate setting.
Terry Malts have always had an 80s indie-rock sound and that became even more refined on their newest record. The reason being this was their first album they recorded in studio as opposed to their previous albums which were self-recorded. They also added more electric guitars, an organ and played with sound effects that allowed for more range within each song and gave the album a fuller and more spacious life. They played a handful of songs off their new album such as “Your Turn,” “Gentle Eyes,” and “Used To Be,” each seemingly winning over the crowd with their punk-pop rhythms. Older ones like “Tumble Down” and “The Hidden Bay” were just as welcomed as people became enthralled in their music.
It’s almost unheard of for bands to come back for an encore at Bunk Bar. The first reason being the bands are usually lesser known and are not used to playing for a large capacity of people. The second is the size of the venue leaves no mystery for a band walking off stage and hiding before coming back on. But, Terry Malts received such high praise from the crowd that people were begging for them to come back. We could see them discussing on the side of the stage which songs they could possibly play and when they returned to the front Benson forewarned the crowd by revealing that, “We’re not used to playing encores so we’re not really sure what we’re doing.” This revelation was more endearing than frightening and the crowd embraced it. No one seemed to care when they had to restart their first encore song because people were just happy to hear more. Their “last song” turned into multiple songs and if they could play all night it’s safe to say that every person would have stayed.
Marriage + Cancer