It has been a while since I’ve posted, no thanks to O2 and their absurdly long wait to be connected to the internet. But, in the time that I have been left to my own devices, I have spun the new Tera Melos album roughly a thousand times.
To categorise Tera Melos is a dangerous task, and their previous albums have defied all manner of labels. Nick Reinhart (guitarist and vocalist) is a man clearly inspired by everything, and his music proves this. He also holds an innate ability to fit catchy guitar hooks around seemingly incomprehensible drumming, most obviously in his side project Bygones with Zach Hill (such as the song Error), which is another fantastic album by the by.
But with their newest album X’ed Out, Tera Melos have swapped the long, progressive numbers that formed previous album Patagonian Rats for well constructed (dare I say it) pop songs. The length of the songs have been reduced, the ideas are more focused and the vocals are pushed to the forefront. However, the musically demented nature of the group remains with odd time signatures and effects galore, though there are a few spacey vocal gems dotted throughout the record, most notably Snake Lake and No Phase.
Until Lufthansa showcases perfectly the nature of Tera Melos and their evolving direction: not entirely shaking off their math moniker with phenomenal musicianship, but producing noticeably more accessible and upbeat music.
Compare this to Melody 4 from their first album and you get the picture (check out the 7/8 guitar riff over the 4/4 drum beat from 3.35).
As an insight into how tight a band can be, this live video for the song When Worms Learn To Fly is a feat of musicianship and an entirely confuddling experience. Most of all though, it’s fantastic.
All in all, get X’ed Out! I can not for the life of me stop listening to it right now. God bless Nick Reinhart.