In the far-flunger-than-ever world of 2010s indie rock, few bands enjoy a fan base as dedicated and tongue-wagging as Sacramento’s stunning math-noise-progressive-pop-free jazz-??? trio Tera Melos. Because their music is so challenging and densely layered, however, those fans are few. Lucky for me, I’m one of them, and it’s an extremely rewarding place for my ears and brain to be.
That’s why I’m posting about Thursday’s release of a second track from Tera Melos’ first LP in three long years, “X’ed Out,” due in April on one of the finest record labels left standing, Sargent House. You might like it, you might not, but you should give it a listen, because this expertly-crafted yet buoyant-and-fun music demands to be heard. You will not be bored either way, I promise.
Tera Melos’ music always reminds me of a bright and warm, yet very turbulent, spring day. The air is fresh but it’s constantly swirling and changing direction. Instruments, vocals and musical passages quickly twist and turn and break back to create the ultimate head music for the multitasking-fatigued, overstimulated denizens of the 21st century. The technical execution is absolutely stunning, but somehow you don’t get caught up in all of that guitar-magazine nerd-land stuff because the songs also have indelibly catchy pop hooks. If you’re older and you like prog-rock bands such as Yes or King Crimson just as much as enterprising indie post-punk bands like Hella or Polvo, Tera Melos should be right in your wheelhouse. Once you learn their language and break their code, even their most challenging material sounds like something off the Beatles’ “Revolver” LP.
“Sunburn” is the name of this track, which you can hear via Vice’s Noisey blog. If you’re intrigued, then by all means check out Tera Melos’ 2010 masterpiece, the “Patagonian Rats” LP. And this spring, pick up the new LP and go see them live.