Whether by self-admission or Google suggestion, Tera Melos come up as math rock – a sub-genre that produces as many eyerolls and apathetic sighs as it does wonky, prog pretenders. Slint, Tortoise, Battles, and HEALTH are the enigmatic hypotenuse-obsessed heroes we’ve all read about or actually heard, but Sacramento’s Tera Melos seem more akin to labelmates Fang Island (kindred spirits more than sound-alikes) opting to experiment inside modern “rock” song structures as much as they do outside of them.
Besides the scorching yet still chill near hit single “Sunburn,” further proof of this transformation is apparent in other standout tracks on X’ed Out like “Weird Circles,” “Bite” and “Surf Nazis.” (Bonus Points go to the band for the excellent Frogtown series film reference). Every yin has a yang though, and they counter the conventional with bouts of dissonant drony bits and spells of twee goofiness.
It’s a refreshing mix and with the growing list of unlikely places I’m hearing and seeing Tera Melos, it’s clear that the band’s pop sensibility and experimentalism balancing act is working for them.