Rock Songs is Terry Ohms‘ 13th and newest LP in a 20-plus-years run of Birmingham, AL resident, Wes McDonald releasing an album with one of his several projects or another. In that time he has participated in several truckloads of quality rock n’ roll and general music making, fronting The Ohms at the turn of the century, then Vulture Whale from 2007-2015 and presently playing drums for The Blips and People Years. And of course he still has “his own thing”, Terry Ohms. This is, where in the name of Terry, Wes lets it all hang out. With an indie-rock flair and glare, Terry is not afraid to cross genre lines or turn the tables upside down from one song to the next on an album. With the freedom of being a 100% pure solo project – Terry plays the instruments, sings, records, mixes, and makes the cover art and the videos himself – Terry Ohms is free to fly as close to the sun as he wants. Rock Songs however, is mostly rock songs. Mostly.
Terry Ohms started while Wes was in Vulture Whale as a project to do something different than the straight rock of VW and as a way to not use his real name for his solo stuff anymore. Basically, a solo project of material that didn’t fit VW. Now Terry is his main outlet for all of his songs and recordings when it comes to “his own stuff.” The roots of that stuff grew through the floor, up the walls and through the ceiling of Wes’ mom’s basement where, in the early-mid nineties, Wes, alone, was trying to figure it all out with a four-track cassette recorder. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. . . That was Terry version 1.0, rough around the edges and in the middle. In that basement, a war within commenced; a sorting out of what’s what and who’s who and what to do, how to do it, what is it and when it comes to all this stuff – Who am I?
Now, several years and many albums later, Terry comes back quick to us with the sparkling new Rock Songs LP, where he proves again that fighting it out with himself in his mom’s basement was worth it if it led to this. He still hasn’t figured out exactly who he is as an artist. That doesn’t sound like a good thing but it only adds to the appeal when it comes to “ol’ Ter”, as they call him back home in Alaska. And as legendary Birmingham music scene supporter, Doug Doughty says, “Man, that Terry Ohms is just the perfect amount of weird.” At its core, Rock Songs is still one guy doing all the stuff you need to do to make an indierockacanunk record; come what may. A toe-tapper’s delight we hope.
If Wes keeps being Wes and Terry keeps being Terry and Terry keeps being Wes and Wes keeps being Terry, there’s more truckloads of that stuff on the way and it probably won’t be that long to wait for it. In the meantime, we got Rock Songs to listen to.
Terry once said “I just want to make music that sounds like ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Against The Wind’ had a baby.”
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