Reviews for Tery's Previous Releases

Schizophrenic Sandwich

From Jagged Mag
Creatures of Habit
Schizophrenic Sandwich
By Kevin C. Green

It's very refreshing listening to songs with lyrics that are meaningful and understandable. Tery Daly, the singer and sole member of Creatures of Habit, creates songs that are thought provoking yet fairly simple.

Bombardier Recording has a philosophy of breaking down the recording process to its simplest form to let the music take centre stage rather than the technology. "Schizophrenic Sandwich" was created entirely on a Tascam 4-track recorder with Daly singing and playing everything you hear. The 19 songs on the album were recorded between 1991 and 1997. If you're looking for musical perfection you won't find it here. Tery explains, "Usually a two or three-minute song is entirely done in 10 to 15 minutes. I rarely go back and mess with them."

Daly's love of music started early, he taught himself to play guitar at age five and was in his first band in Grade 6. He was in various cover bands for years playing a lot of the music that influenced him. Influences ranged from '60s pop like The Beatles and Stones and punk bands from the '70s like The Ramones and The Clash. But, perhaps his biggest influence came from the band Guided By Voices. Daly has worked on not one but two Guided By Voices tribute albums; he has also worked on a Nirvana tribute album. Not bad for a guy who still can't read or write music.

"Schizophrenic Sandwich" starts out with a very short opening song titled "Universal Sky Box." The album picks up with the song "Fear," a catchy pop tune with dark lyrics that almost sound like a cry for help: "You say you want fear? I've got fear enough for everyone."

My favourite song is "Pilots on Parade." It's about an airline pilot that has lost his way, and I can only describe the song "My Depression" as The Byrds meets Led Zeppelin. I'll give Tery Daly a "lo-fi high five" for his album.

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Creatures of Habit’s lone habitant, Tery Daly, makes no secret of his abiding love for all things Guided by Voices, and much of what’s fine about his new CD, Schizophrenic Sandwich, shares some of GBV’s giddy pop gamesmanship. But the real glad tidings here are what Daly subtracts from his idols. Part of the glory of Bob Pollard and company is the way they twist the elves-&-fairies-prancing-down-on-the-farm cosmology of 60s British guitar popsters like The Move, The Kinks, and The Pretty Things into pure postmodern, basement studio spleen. At heart, one guesses, Pollard is a bitter man and, while his lyrics and music beat around in rarefied space for long beautiful plateaus, they usually grip you while tumbling down into the arroyo wrapped in tractor rape chain.

Daly is no such misanthrope. One hopes he isn’t trying to be. In fact, most of Schizophrenic Sandwich is as blithe as the name suggests. Daly’s attitude is closer to that of Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, The Shoes and, often, Nick Lowe and Marshall Crenshaw, if lo-fi had been the vogue in 1980. More playful than petulant, Daly is as restless as a mustang in a carport with the freedom his home studio provides. And he doesn’t exactly take his time moving from idea to idea. The shifts in tone and sonic temper jet by so fast and with such peels of fractured, unkempt instrumentation that the CD requires more than a casual listen to sort the anthems from the solid experiments.

Every song has something to recommend it. The giant, slippery guitars of the opener, "Universal Sky Box" surrender to vocals that might as well be one long, unbridled sigh ending just before you feel up to sighing along. "Alien Boy" has a high end rattlesnake shake that adds dangerous hoodoo to an otherwise innocuous ditty. "Fear" starts out sounding like GBV, minus the savagery and rancor, and then becomes pure George Harrison, replete with stuttery, slightly exotic guitar figures. "Pilots on Parade" is twee psych-pop, picture-made for the Ptolemaic Terrascope crowd. "Lemon Lime World’s" buzzing, jagged guitar leads us into XTC, also the touchstone for "Get That Girl" and several other cuts.

If all this sounds as if Daly is, predictably, less than the sum of his various influences, you’d be just about three quarters right. But what influences! And the sheer energy and delirium with which he races to epitomize and freeze the essence of his heroes is really quite exhilarating. Schizophrenic Sandwich is a charm bracelet: The Beatles, Sparklehorse (Daly shares recording tastes with Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous—a shimmery, hissy high end submerging gentle, serpentine vocals), Status Quo, The Turtles, Simon and Garfunkel ("My Depression" manages to channel the two latter groups at once), all jangle about sweetly on this truly extraordinary CD.

You’re not going to be blown away by the originality or urgency of Creatures of Habit, and the slightly malevolent undercurrent of Pollard and GBV doesn’t threaten here at all, but if you’re into the sound of a home studio coming unhinged in the wild-maned pursuit of perfect pop, Schizophrenic Sandwich is a funhouse of dizzying, eccentric puzzles.

---Charles Lieurance, November 2000
Lincolnzine SS review

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From: Issue 14 of The Bee's Knees (July 2000):

Creatures of Habit, a one-man psych band with obvious love of Guided by Voices with short songs, and a lo-fi sound from 4-track home recording, complete with tape hiss here and there, but it doesn't hurt it at all. Someone I will want to keep up with and see how they progress. Similar to the Army of the Red Museum, so check it out. Rating 7 our of 10.
- - Mike Turner
Check out The Bee's Knees Zine & the Happy Happy Birthday To Me singles club HHBTM

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From: Issue 5 of Shredding Paper (Winter/Spring 2000,the one with Guided by Voices on the cover)said:

Ultra low-budget Psychedelic goofing around from some guy in Lincoln NE. When he hides underneath tons of fuzz and treble, it works well, like a woodshop class version of Polyphemus. I guess he's a big Guided by Voices fan, and the more I listen to it, the more it comes out. There's a real powerpop (like real powerpop, 20/20 and stuff) influence here underneath, so I guess the guy's not like 17 or something, and I think I'm starting to dig this. - - Matt Roberts
To get a copy Go To Shredding Paper

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From: Flow Online
Creatures of Habit
Schizophrenic Sandwich

Pretty heavily Byrds-influenced borderline-psychedelic pop, both in the production style as well as the music itself. It's pretty amazing what technology has done for the individual musician-one person is credited for the entire album, where once you had to have a whole band to do something like this. Yeah, I know that's old hat now, but I never really think about it until a solo musician sounds so much like something from my dad's record collection, and it hits my that the work of four-plus people has suddenly been reproduced just as well by one person. I like everything on this.

Review by Holly Day 12/99

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From: Big Daddy's Kitchen

Creatures of Habit: Tery Daly makes some damn fine fractured and fuzzy pop tunes, lo-fi brilliance spooned out in generous dollops. Sorta Beach Boys crossed with XTC while Syd Barret looks over your shoulder.- - Jerry Fournier 4/99

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Creatures of Habit - melds the tender lyrics and wide-eyed vision of life that we love about Belle & Sebastian (and Kleenex Girl Wonder's Ponyoak, now that I think about it) with the catchy pop sweetness vocals of Tobin Sprout. Lo-Fi beauty. Also great touches of 70s rockisms, subtly sprinkled throughout. Those small, hummably catchy things that make you smile -- anyone thirty or older definitely knows what I'm talking about here... - - Craig Carrington 8/99

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Creatures of Habit isn't so much a band as a man... Tery Daly. This heavily psychedelic pop project produces some intoxicating low-fi rock. Listening to Creatures of Habit is like digging for unpolished gems in golden sand. Through the thin layer of warm static is a cornucopia of brilliant pop melody. - - Jimmy Ether-Anti Elitist Audio Zine

Reviews for I, Tobot
A Tribute to Tobin Sprout

From Issue 5 of Shredding Paper:

A tribute to Tobin Sprout that actually succeeds in showing off this prowess as a songwriter. Highlights included Murray The Cop's "Angels Hang Their Socks…", Cold Michigan Basement Kids' "Lariat Man", Eric Horst's "Last Man Well Known" etc. Most of the tracks are simply produced. Showbag!'s fine Beast Of Souls is one of the more polished efforts. Mousie Awol and Ashland take on two of GbV's gems with "Dodging Invisible Rays" and "Gleemer" respectively, with credible efforts. 21 unknown artists in all, free for the download, and well worth the effort.

NOTE: Shredding Paper only reviewed CD1.

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Reviews for Selling Off The Bees

From: Beats E-zine-posted on the Music Dish site (Jan 99)
Artist: Various
Title: Selling Off the Bees

This is a compilation of a bunch of bands I've never heard of and don't know why. Really, everything on it is good, and some of the stuff here is excellent. Alan Wiley's "Katy's Song" is a wonderful simplicity of piano and vocals and just plain sadness, while Mousie Awol's rendition of "Be True to Your School" is lots of fun. The music on here ranges from staticky guitar noise to acoustic folk to dreampop, all on the mellow side but not so mellow that it'd put you to sleep.
-Holly Day 1/99 - - Bees Review/Music Dish

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From Anti-Elitist Audio Zine Volume 1 issue 3 (March 99)

compilation selling off the bees
Bombadier Recording Co.

Alan Wiley
Creatures Of Habit
"I've Got A Halo"

This compilation from Bombadier Recording Co. is a collection of low-fi recording artist. 8 bands and artist each perform 2 songs, most notable of which are Valindra Rhymes with "Her", Anthemic Pop Wonder with "Cornerstone Heart", and this issues' featured artists Alan Wiley and Creatures of Habit. There's a great instumental by Pesotum, who we've featured previously in Volume 1 Issue 2. Also, Mousie Awol does a couple of hillarous covers of the Beach Boys' "Be True To Your School" and Neil Young's "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong".

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From: Fresh Cow Pie 'Zine:
"This is another wonderful compilation from the best underground pop label in the upper midwest. It's hard to believe, but this comp is better than it's predesessor Big Beats from the Small Halls! It's more cohesive, and the songs flow effortlessly from track to track. There are 8 bands on the disc and they each contribute 2 songs. If I were king, these types of tunes would be the bread & butter of every self respecting radio station in the world."

-Paul Wiley

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Live Reviews:


Knickerbockers - Lincoln, NE - January 17th 2001 - Creatures of Habit is the recording moniker used by Tery Daly, an ex-New Yorker turned Nebraskan (nice to see NY is sending some our way) who concocts pop songs of the lo-fi nature all by his lonesome. Tery Daly has the benefit of age & experience over the other newbies of the night, as CoH has actually performed before audiences before, and it shows in Tery's confidence and enthusiasm while playing. Tery's still bandless in NE, so this "debut" performance was simply him and his flipped over guitar - Check it, he's a lefty in a righty world. Hendrix played this way of course, but Tery is very much a Guided By Voices fan, so the songs were short & sweet.

It is odd listening to the only CoH album I'm familiar with, Schizophrenic Sandwich, and comparing it to this CoH performance. The album is full of effects (also drums & bass) especially on the vocals which sound much higher, poppier and dreamier. Come to think of it, so do the guitars. So this performance was very stripped down, and guess what? - included a GBV cover. Ben Armstrong (of the Black Dahlias) was scheduled to play drums on one song but the schedule was pushed forward and he arrived too late. It was very cool to finally see CoH live. Here's hoping Tery gets some bandmate hookups and we can view these songs in all their glory (including, for my tastes, all the cool album effects). - Michael French

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Here are some reviews from the BRC Rockfest- 11/13/99:

...Creatures of Habit and Tery Daly were next. Tery mentioned he had not played a live set in years. Adding to this, Tery developed a sore throat during the day. The CoH band, Eric (bass), Mike E. (drums) and Jason Locke (2nd guitar) have never met, much less played together prior to Saturday. It was obvious to me these guys studied and prepared on their own prior to getting together. What a difference a band makes for CoH. The songs came out really BIG and strong. The Cali-based rhythm section created a great foundation and Tery's guitar playing is truly inspiring--the guy plays lefty and his guitar is strung righty! That's dedication to learn guitar in that manner. The guitar sound, to my ears, is quite unique. Yes, it's rock, but the technique Tery employs make his sound unique. I really liked Lemon-lime World and Pilots on Parade.

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Creatures of Habit: Tery Daly performed last 17.5 years ago. he and his band rocked regardless of the time-off. Michael Jordan was out for 2 seasons and he came back to the nba at a high level. Tery, i know i know, is not Michael Jordan, but Mike don't know rock. Tery does. CoH pulled no punches as the dirty Fender guitar sound coupled with a Kinks-like groove and songs from Schizophrenic Sandwich was a great way to end any retirement. Tery's a great songwriter, not to mention one of the few guitarists who can play a Hendrix cover without embarrassing himself
- - Jerry Fournier - Big Daddy's Kitchen

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...The music: What do all of these bands have in common? They make music because they love to make music, novel concept that. It was impossible to tell which bands had been playing together for years, and which were thrown together by the circumstances of the festival. Scattered images: The earnest faith of Lee Wadlinger. The precocious rock charm of John Van Atta. The contagious enthusiasm of D-Factor Murrow. The bombastic intensity of Pesotum. The pure fun stirred in with precision of Vote for Noah. The endless pop songcraft of Mike Enzor and Magnetic Health Factory. The joyous coming together of Faux Republic. Jason Locke's successful courting of the beckoning muse of beauty. Creatures of Habit's crunchy guitar pop, led by Willis Reed Perseverance Award winner, Tery Daly, for playing the show while incredibly sick. Getting Sugarsmacked and loving every minute of it.