Archive for the 'Tera Melos' Category

Tera Melos – untitled

A few days ago Chris suggested an album by Foals, a math rock band.  This got me pretty excited, because it’s been a while since I have heard anything worthwhile come out of math rock.  But it got me thinking – math rock is really an umbrella term used to describe two genres.  The first “flavor” of math rock includes bands like Foals and the Brooklyn-based Battles, who incorporate weird time signatures and syncopation into their music, while in the second “flavor” bands are less strict with their playing.  You know, start-stop bullshit.

Start-stop bullshit can mean one of two things. Generally it tends to mean “suck”.  Bands like Giraffes? Giraffes! come to mind (what kind of a band name is that?).  But, on occasion, start-stop music CAN be pulled off, and with amazing results.  One band that does it especially well is Sacramento’s Tera Melos.

Citing influences like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Pixies, and Weezer, it’s hard to imagine where Tera Melos got their signature instrumental sound.  They were the pioneers of start-stop math rock, which is characterized by build-ups, break downs, and off beat riffage.  That sounds like a recipe for disaster, and typically it is, but Tera Melos does something that I have heard no other math rock band do – incorporate soundscapes.  Beautiful, melodious soundscapes.

The album is comprised of seven purely instrumental songs, each called “Melody (#)”, and the album is officially untitled (a la Led Zeppelin’s fourth album).  That means there are no words or titles to worry about, creating an album that is a 100% musical experience. At 32 minutes it is the perfect length, concise, but not short.

The band paints a Mona Lisa, pulls out some Sharpies, and scribbles all over their masterpiece.  Does it ruin what was once a work of art? Or is the deconstruction of beauty in and of itself…beautiful?  That’s up to you to decide.

– Jack

Watch them get down (19 second clip)

Download the album


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