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Tera Melos live at SLO Brewing Co. in 2011
|Origin||Sacramento, California, U.S.|
Tera Melos is an American band from Sacramento, California, that incorporates many styles of rock, ambient electronics and unconventional song structures. They are currently a three-piece (formerly four), consisting of guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Nick Reinhart, bassist Nathan Latona, and drummer John Clardy. Tera Melos play a brand of music characterized by quickly alternating rhythmic patterns, start-stop dynamics, improvisation, two-handed tapping on the guitar, extended open-ended bridges, and the use of effect pedals and samplers. Though the band has typically eschewed the label of math rock, they are considered recent innovators of the genre.
The band formed in 2004 after the breakup of Nick Reinhart and Nathan Latona's former band No Regard. Jeff Worms and Vince Rogers joined shortly thereafter. Tera Melos rehearsed for nearly a full year before choosing to debut live. The band had initially intended to recruit a vocalist but did not settle on one and chose to carry on as an instrumental band for the next several years. After releasing a four-song demo, their untitled debut full-length was released on October 4, 2005. The album comprises eight tracks that are all instrumental, and was re-issued in 2010 on Sargent House. While some of the tracks on the album feature distorted vocals that are somewhat undecipherable, guitarist Nick Reinhart started contributing more prominent vocals to the music with the release of their 2007 split with By the End of Tonight, called Complex Full of Phantoms. The album was named One of the most overlooked albums of 2005 by AP magazine.
Right before they started recording their second EP Drugs to the Dear Youth, one of the guitarists, Jeff Worms, left the band. On January 19, 2007, Tera Melos released the EP on Sargent House. 'Drugs' for short, was a step away from the previous sound they had before and farther into more progressive and original regions. They then embarked on their first national tour.
Later in the year, the band contributed five songs to a split EP with the Houston Texas band "By the End of Tonight". Released on Temporary Residence Limited, Complex Full of Phantoms was the first release to feature prominent vocals in Tera Melos songs. Tours with By the End of Tonight and Facing New York followed.
Tera Melos announced on their Myspace page on April 2, 2008, that drummer Vince would be leaving the band to pursue other things after their spring tour. He now performs solo drum act, with a sequencer, under the name the Blank Reference. He is also a member of Marnie Stern's band. The band began searching for a new drummer, and after six months announced the addition of John Clardy. Prior to Vince's departure, the band had been planning a long-awaited LP release after touring; however, plans for a full-length were delayed. In the meantime they ended up releasing an EP of covers, featuring songs by the Beach Boys and Polaris, entitled Idioms, Vol. I.
Tera Melos have developed a cult-like fan base around the United States and have recently gained some popularity in Europe, Asia, and South America; in September 2009 the Drugs to the Dear Youth EP and Tera Melos songs from the Complex Full of Phantoms split were combined into the release Drugs/Complex on Parabolica Records in Japan. October 2009 the band did an 8-date headlining tour of Japan, and were subsequently featured in the DVD Parabolica Jam '09.
On November 7, 2009, Tera Melos confirmed a new album due out in 2010 in a Myspace bulletin. The post stated that the band was set to begin recording the next day, November 8. The new album, titled Patagonian Rats, was released on September 7, 2010. The band toured extensively throughout North America and Europe in support of the record, playing with bands such as Maps & Atlases and Marnie Stern.
On January 17, 2013, along with the release of a new song "Tropic Lame," Tera Melos announced their new LP X'ed Out, which was released by Sargent House on April 16. Tracks from the album "Sunburn" and "Bite" were later released. The band once again toured extensively in Europe, as well as a tour with Sargent House label-mates TTNG in the United States.
In early 2017, Tera Melos returned to the studio to record their first full-length album since X'ed Out. Drummer John Clardy left the School of Rock (Company) of Southlake, Texas as the band finished sessions for a brand new album entitled Trash Generator. The album was released on August 25, 2017 and typically received positive reviews. The band went on a U.S. tour that October with Speedy Ortiz.
Tera Melos's sound is labeled as math rock,experimental rock and punk jazz, with influences from progressive rock and post-hardcore.AllMusic critic Jason Lymangrover wrote that the band melds "the aggression of punk with the technical intricacies of prog rock," using "jerky shifts in time signatures and disjointed guitar noodling with a close resemblance to Don Caballero and Hella." The band's music also features tapped guitar parts, as well as angular bass riffs and splintered spazz-jazz drumming, complemented with ambient electronics and sparse vocal lines.
Starting with Patagonian Rats in 2010, the band started to infuse pop elements and harmonic singing to their sound, "making a shift from unconventional song structures of ambient-indebted post rock to hyper-technical guitar pop." Their third album, X'ed Out (2013), incorporated influences from skate punk, dream pop, and proto-emo.