Terry Ohms is the alter-ego of Birmingham Alabama native Wes McDonald, whose tracks ‘Mind Blow’ and ‘Ghost’, we’ve written about over the past couple of years. He now returns with a new album, ‘Cold Cold Shoulder’, set for release in February next year, almost a year to the date of his deeply eclectic 2019 album, ‘Terryfirma’. Terry and his music skate closely but not close enough to the vibe that makes an artist popular; it’s a shame because what he’s doing is definitely worth grabbing hold of and never letting go. Latest single, ‘IMO JSYK BTW’ is a title that’s almost impossible to read out loud, but maybe we don’t need to try – we know what it says just by reading it in our heads.
Accompanied by a music video that’s just as confronting and disturbing as the title, ‘IMO JSYK BTW’ is a treatise about the hell in a handbasket journey being taken by the capitalist countries of the world. America is name checked, but the song could apply equally to the UK, Australia or any of a range of other countries where it seems we’re caught in a bit of a nightmare situation.
But of course – this is in his opinion…just so you know…by the way…it’s not necessarily the opinion of everyone…
The jangly guitars and pounding drums are as confronting as the polychromatic video, with Terry’s vocals sounding despairing, angry, maybe sad…The flashing orbs overlay clips of what looks like the Vietnam War (or is it World War Two?), Roman times…”take a look back at the past – but maybe not that far”. It’s a difficult clip to watch and listen to because it’s loud and confronting, at the same time but maybe that’s the whole point – if something makes us want to turn away then it’s going to have an effect on us, it’ll be something we remember. Maybe if we were all a little more loud and confronting we as the human race might actually learn from our mistakes, instead of “going down the tubes…on a bus.”
‘IMO JSYK BTW’ is a protest song, in the same sort of vein as John Lennon’s ‘Nobody Told Me’ – and indeed, Ohm’s vocals are reminiscent of Lennon’s as well. It’s just one of eight tracks on ‘Cold Cold Shoulder’, all of which are guitar based, and cut fast and loose with time and tempo, the whole album a punkishly short 42 minutes. Not only did Ohm write and perform the songs on the album, he also engineered, produced, and played all the instruments, in his home studio in Birmingham, Alabama. Oh and he designed all the artwork as well – basically, it’s all his own work – JSYK.