Tera Melos: Patagonian Rats

Tera Melos: Patagonian Rats
Punk-jazz is kind of a weird genre. It dates back to pioneers like Television and The Birthday Party but it really never picked up a lot of momentum. There are still some purveyors of the genre, for example Tera Melos. The Roseville, California trio combines punk jazz with indie rock on their second full length release Patagonian Rats.
Patagonian Rats is anything but an easy listen, however compared to other punk jazz outfits, Tera Melos makes fairly accessible music. Their music combines the rhythm section of Pinback with the guitars of The Allman Brothers all with the song structure of Battles. That comparison works as a basic description of Tera Melos but a deeper look at any song on Patagonian Rats shows many other influences.
The album’s closing track “A New Uniform / Patagonia” starts with an Atari Teenage Riot-style digital hardcore intro before settling down into something that sounds like Primus. “The Skin Surf” guitars and angular rhythms reminds me of Feng Island.
The only part of Patagonian Rats I do not like is some of the songs’ lengths. With at least two songs approaching the unenvious 10-minute mark and another couple just over five minutes just seem too long. I am not saying their track lengths should rival Anal Cunt but the longer songs just do not seem to work as well as the shorter ones on the album.
Besides that one small complaint, Tera Melos really manage to awe on their sophomore release. For those not used to such jarring music, I would recommend a couple of listens before coming to a final conclusion because with a little digestion I think most listeners will find Patagonian Rats a more than pleasant listen.
Rating: 7.6/10
MP3: Tera Melos “The Skin Surf”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!

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