Tera Melos - Patagonian Rats
It's been five long years since the last full length from Tera Melos, Untitled, which garnered lots of looks from the music community for it's facinating budding style of music, fusing jazz spazznasity and an almost post punk attitude to form a style of music that is as young as it is zany, causing a jitter of the fingers and tapping of the toes from admirers as strange and impressive guitar tapping intertwine with indescribable drum whomps at breakneck speed. Tera Melos might not like the term Math Rock, but it's what describes their music easiest in my head, and they definitely are learning to combine new elements on their new album Patagonian Rats, and while it's a fresh outlook, Tera Melos still know what they're good at, and they haven't lost that.
From the beggining of the album, there's an off feeling to those who know and love Tera Melos, as "Kelly" and its lead in "So Occult" feature the vocals which still seem new even though they've been around since their split with By The End of Tonight, and a strangely...less mathy...sound. But at the same time, I was struck by how similar the elements feel in the album when Tera kicks in some of the sporadic jazz they're known for, but at the same time being able to mix in the new, creating one badass witches brew. Patagonian Rats is the perfect album in some senses, having progression without loss of identity for the fans and the band alike. A highlight "Trident Tail" is an oldschool Tera Melos sounding song, except with melody and chorus, which while there, is as forward thinking and progressive sounding as can be. Tera Melos never sounds like something you've heard...besides Tera Melos, which is fascinatingly amazing.
"Frozen Zoo" is the obvious single, being the most accessible song on the album, and it definitely marks the big contrast from old Melos with a beginning guitar bit almost reminiscent of a Modest Mouse track (I swear!) and actual playable potential in a normal listening setting with people other than Tera Melos fans. There lies the biggest problem with Patagonian Rats and Tera Melos from the beginning, they are just so fucking in-accessible, I even have a hard time chewing through some of the longer 9 and 8 minute long jams. Casual listening is something hardly attached with the Jazzy Tera Melos sound. Overall though Patagonian Rats is every Tera Melos fans dream, it's NEW, but with an amount of nostalgia sorely missed by most new albums seen by other artists. Great tracks like "Party With Gina" and the ultimate grand finale "A New Uniform / Patagonia" really flesh out what you loved about Tera Melos, and what you're bound to start loving after the first listen.
Album Rating - 8.5 / 10
Adebisi Shank - This Is A Second Album of A Band Called Adebisi Shank
Post Rock is a genre marred by misunderstanding, confusion, and pretentious as fuck band names, and while most play the somber 20 minute song card, certain bands tend to test the limits of that genre, such as Adebisi Shank, whom I'm sure don't consider themselves Post-Rock, but unfortunately, to me...they are. And thank god for that. Without bands like Battles, Adebisi Shank or The Samuel Jackson Five, I wouldn't respect the post-rock sound for its diversity, depth, or straight up ass-kickery.
This Is A Second Album...marks progression in a band easily seen as one that didn't need it. Adebisi Shanks' first album was progressive, new, and fun as one could hope for, combining bad-ass-fast-paced-bombastic rock and roll with robo-audio-fed-vocals not unlike certain Daft Punk tracks. The new album is a step further into this technology-driven-rock with more electronic sounds found in the actual music, and the same, fascinating vocals found on the first album. It's a formula for sure, but the album never feels derivative of the song before it, with each track being easily distinguishable. "International Dreamboat" kicks the album into gear with an electronic romp complete with beeps and boops mixed with Fang Island-esque guitar licks. The single "Genki Shank" is definitely Adebisi Shank meets Heart's "Barracuda", combining robotic vocals with a driving and badass bassline.
One of my favorites on the album "(-_-)" is a sweeeeet intermission track, with a light and fluffy electro guitar accompanied by a tribally soothing drum beat. That leads into my favorite song on the album "Longdrum", which has lighting fast zipping noises that feel so futuristic in nature it conjures images of a lazer torn megalopolis from a Riddley Scott film, while injecting the perfect space and lulls in the track to leave room for those elevator rides among this futuristic vista. The album closes on the astonishingly interesting "Century City" that is a face melting mix of steadfast bassline and an ending truly futuristic with a mix of pixelated spermicide and a hellacious dance beat fit for a Crystal Castles concert in 2020. This Is A Second Album... bests Adebisi's first effort by crafting an album fit more for being a concept album, holding up a vision of the future to come. Oh and by the way, the album cover makes a billion times more sense after listening through his motherfucker.
Album Rating - 9.3 / 10
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tera Melos - Patagonian Rats