Aqueduct is the perfect example of indie DIY. David Terry, who is Aqueduct, went from Tulsa to Seattle and created a hell of a debut in I Sold Gold that caught the attention of many fans of agile electrorock, especially while touring with Pinback. Back for his second album, Terry has expanded his breadth for a more expansive, formal balladry that rides more on his unique garage-yell than neon synths or erratic drumming. The result is Or Give Me Death – a hearty album full of tech-splashed, shirt-off jams that for better or worse, feels truly homemade.
David Terry's vocals are about as recognizable as anyone's. Head back, neck waggling, belting out. After you've heard him once, you'll be able to immediately recognize his voice. Just like on his debut, it's the overriding component on Or Give Me Death. Occasionally mixing in chorus effects, Terry produces an even stronger sentimental support factor. On "Broken Records", grooves a snidey shout-along through a Moog-y dash. "Lying In The Bed I've Made" is mid-tempo smoothness driven by a piano and a combination of group vocals. This album is more sophisticated in some ways than Aqueduct's debut, but doesn't sacrifice its core appeal.
Terry extends beyond his guy-next-door appeal with an array of synthetic rock and piano arrangements. "Just The Way I Are" even features a quick trumpet fanfare and "Split The Difference" is even more brass-decorated, riding a fast synth pace. "Lying In The Bed I've Made" is mid-tempo smoothness driven by a rolling piano and group vocals. While Aqueduct has a limited supply of instruments, Terry utilizes them well to make Or Give Me Death much more complex than one man could make.
In somewhat catching his breath, David Terry has taken a step back from the sonic storm that was I Was Gold. This album is more mature in spots, more angsty in others, but in several ways, more cohesive. Whether Or Give Me Death is less risky or more cultivated, it's got a sleeker sound while allowing Terry's vocals take care of business, and is overall, an exciting progression for an overachieving one-man show.