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The history of Tera Melos, like the life of Dostoevsky, treads between transcendence and complete breakdown. In the early quartet years, live performances were as much about gymnastics and daredevilry as they were about actual performance. Bursts of hyper-musicianship sprouted between larger expanses of equipment-trashing, mid-measure cartwheeling, and death-defying rafter-swinging. The evolution from a four-piece to a trio saw the visual chaos reigned in and the aural chaos blossom. Destruction is no longer measured in terms of kicked over amps, bloody fingers, and broken bones. Instead, the deconstructive edge is embodied in Dada-ist pop appropriations, pedal wankery, noise squalls, and frenetic tempos.
Mutation is key. Tera Melos now is not Tera Melos four years ago. Or six months ago. A song isn't played in a dingy club the same way it was played in the recording studio. Nor is it played the same way it was the night before. Things evolve. Wrong is right. The glitches, improvisations, and general tomfuckery are part of the art and charm. You want clarity? Perfection? Easy hooks? You'll have to work a little harder than that. This is not casual listening.
A new phase of Tera Melos is born with the addition of John Clardy to the drum throne. Flanked by the cumulative ten strings of Nathan Latona and Nick Reinhart, one can only wonder what new amalgam of sonic confusion, modernist anxiety, and cosmic celebration is brewing in those hills outside of Sacramento.