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Patagonian Rats
Release Date: 03/12/2010
Catalogue No.: SH041
Record Label: Sargent House/Other Tongues
Format: CD

Californian outfit Tera Melos’ punk-jazz songs have traditionally been densely packed with so many wild shifts of time signature and chord structures that guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Nick Reinhart jokes they were sounds that Ivan Navarro “only wizards could decipher.”
Tera Melos’ first proper full-length, ‘Patagonian Rats’ is packed with melodic hooks and jabs that on paper might seem to defy the band’s experimental edge. There’s even clear and distinct vocals throughout – a first for the band, where vocals, if any, were previously awash with distortion and layered in the mix. But, particulars aside, ‘Patagonian Rats’ is the type of album that sticks with you.
Tera Melos formed in 2004 as a quartet, releasing their first self-titled disc in 2005, The band became a trio in late 2006, releasing the ‘Drugs To The Dear Youth’ EP early the following year. Nick Reinhart (guitar, programming, vocals), Nathan Latona (bass) and John Clardy (drums) make up the trio.
The album opens with whispered vocals and waltzing organ notes of 35-second intro, “So Occult” that just barely settles in before abruptly tumbling into the blitzkrieg haunting refrain of “Kelly.” The latter a simple, ascending riff of phased-out guitar, reverb-drenched vocals and marching rhythms that plays out like that single line from a favourite pop song that gets stuck in your head, constantly on repeat. “The Skin Surf” juts in to the proceedings, quickly shifting to a frenetic Black Flag-meets-the-Ventures wrestling match that truly showcases the impeccable musicianship of the band. “All my friends will try and say,” Reinhart sings – not so much with foolhardy bravado, but rather as if from the view of eternity. Elsewhere, “Trident Tail” evokes Syd Barret era Pink Floyd; the music is studious and deliberate, while also infectious and hummable.
‘Patagonian Rats’ evokes images of bizarre and fantastic alternate realities. The key is not to understand it, but to let the music transform everyday reality into something new. And, that is the essence of ‘Patagonian Rats’.
4 1/2 stars  “Original, ingenious, bombastic, rich, unyielding, indecipherable. That’s Tera Melos for ya.” – SPUTNICK MUSIC


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Tera Melos

Patagonian Rats

Purchase CD
AUD $26.95 (inc. GST)
Track listing - Disc 1
1
So Occult
2
Kelly
3
The Skin Surf
4
Aped
5
Trident Tail
6
Frozen Zoo
7
In Citrus Heights
8
Skywatch
9
Party With Gina
10
Another Surf
11
Westham United
12
A New Uniform / Patagonia