Tera Melos
Drugs to the Dear Youth


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
May 19th, 2007 | 34 replies | 14,331 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The catchiness of ATDI, the technicality of DEP. I just wish it lasted for more than 20 minutes.

Before writing up my review of Tera Melos' new EP Drugs to the Dear Youth I decided that Tera Melos was my favorite band with regard to technical proficiency. To challenge that and maybe break myself, I decided to go on youtube and watch everything I could think of that was technically insane. I watched the trailer for the new DEP album. They're pretty good with their instruments, I do agree. Then my friend Carlos knocked on my door and came in. He had me watch all of these virtuostic guitarists do two-handed tapping techniques. We watched stuff by Michael Hedges, Stanley Jordan, Justin King, etc. As I am every time I see videos of these guys performing, I was in at awe at how good they are on their instruments, and this is all while they write pretty good, tasteful songs. But then I decided to bring up a Tera Melos video. They do use two-hand tapping, and they aren't as aggressive and crazy as DEP, but I noticed that there was something else at work with their music. I think it was while watching their guitarist do a two hand tapping segment for "Melody 5" and then run into a crowd member, falling over, and still hammering out his giant headbanging guitar part while on the ground that I realized they aren't artÃ*stes or virtuosos, but people who know how to write fun music, yet decide to run that through the meatgrinder that is their amazing technical proficiency and harrowing live performance. Then, comparing this conclusion to my opinion of Tera Melos' self-titled LP, I saw that a lot of songs, while technically awesome, utilized a lot of pretty major key sounds, and a lot of songs operated like good At the Drive-In songs with cool chord voicings and nice crescendos at the ends (see "Melody 6"). They were very palatable and decidedly untechnical and their posture and swagger. So I guess short of repeating the success of their first album, Tera Melos could have gotten either poppier, or more technical. Would they move towards the anthemic sound of ATDI or Fall of Troy, or would they move off towards the fractious, oddball territory of Dillinger Escape Plan? To my pleasant surprise, they did both.

Drugs to the Dear Youth is in many ways poppier than the self-titled LP. Gone are the likes of 3-minute computer programmed outros a la "Melody 5", and the 28-minute long noise exposition "Melody 8," and in its place are incredibly concise and catchy songs. Excepting the extended "40 Rods to the Hog's Head" most of the songs feel completely jam-packed with cool ideas and catchy riffs. In other ways though, this poppiness seems to get trumped by the technicality. This EP is not somehow more technically proficient from an instrumental standpoint, but in general the song structures and variety to each song is even weirder than on the LP, meaning and even more stuttered and convoluted flow, and an even larger arena for stretching musical frontiers. There are pros to their interactions as well. By having a lot of weirder transitions, there are a lot of really memorable little seconds. The first minute of "Spoonful of Slurry" seems almost geared towards having each 2 second fragment be as memorable yet varied as possible, resulting in sweet riffs, amazing solos, and an altogether impregnable wall of ideas and textures. The end result is that the songwriting is ridiculous verging on genius, maybe closer to the latter, and on top of that, every moment is palatable and geared towards fun and catchiness.

However, Drugs to the Dear Youth is also much more technical. After losing a guitarist, there was a need to fill the space created by losing one voice in a 4-part crazy technical band. The ironic thing about Tera Melos though, is that the primary guitarist already often uses two-handed tapping techniques so further doubling the parts to fill in for the loss of a guitarist would imply quadruple-tapping, which would then require being a Mortal Kombat character like Shiva or Goro with 4 arms. Not a likely solution. So, instead of just wiling out and upping the game to a superhuman level, the remaining guitarist, Nick, just made his playing even more varied and unpredictable, which also ties into the improvements to the songwriting. The bass and the drums also bring their A game. One aspect I like about the drumming is that the scattered, loose-feel drumming makes an appearance outside of the "filler" tracks (really just the 28-minute long noise track "Melody 8"). There's a distinct balance between the hard hitting snare accent sections and the more loose-feel ones that is really appealing. Once again the bass is the "weakest" instrument, if you can even use that term in relation to a Tera Melos musician. The bass just isn't balls out ridiculous but once again is incredibly tasteful and fun.

My only gripe: it's an EP. It probably has as much actual music as their self-titled LP when you skim off all of its filler aspects and 28-minute closing track, but I wish Tera Melos would get around to shredding out a full LP. Their songwriting isn't schtick and can legitimately hold my attention for well over 20 minutes, so why haven't they produced a full album? Maybe it's tough to create more than 20 minutes of material this insane and saturated with cool moments in any given go at writing an album, but I'm aching for more. Overall, this album is both more technically impressive, yet also catchier. I don't know how they're balancing it, but this album is even more savage and fun than their LP, just with reduced content at its 20:51 running time.



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Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
iarescientists
May 19th 2007



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice job, I checked out their s/t and it was pretty good, so I'll pick this up sometime.

And on an unrelated note, could you write a full review of Trees, Swallows, Houses cause your soundoff is so good, and that album needs a full review.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 19th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ya dude. I have a lot of albums I've been meaning to write up reviews for. I just finished my semester so I'm going to start reviewing stuff again. That's just one of many things I'm going to hit up.

iarescientists
May 19th 2007



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome, can't wait for that.

GleamInRanks
May 19th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loved the s/t cd. I should probably get around to listening to this. The review was well written and a very fun read!

AlienEater
May 20th 2007



716 Comments


I like Tera Melos

Abaddon2005
May 20th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't think this was really good when I first heard it, but I've been plying the S/T so much I decided to give this another spin and liked it much better. I'll have to disagree that this is catchier, though.One of the things that I loved about the S/T is how they put really catchy punk melodies in there, that really stick with you and give the songs room to grow.

What I like here is that they gave it more of a jam feel to it. Nate's bass is a lot more audible this time around.

edit: has anyone managed to find tabs/tab out some of their stuff?
This Message Edited On 05.20.07

pixiesfanyo
May 20th 2007



1222 Comments


I downloaded this today.

I'm thinking about checking these guys out at the troubadour and I figure I should get more comfortable with their new stuff. The S/T was RAD. Except for the last track which was BOMB.

embroglio
May 20th 2007



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

their shit just keeps getting crazier, too. even now they have new songs that are like "slurry" on crack. the only thing i hate about this is how they split 40 rods up into 3 tracks and werewolf into 2, i was expecting 6 new songs. still a great album

Slaapkamers
May 20th 2007



596 Comments


40 Rods isn't split up on mine

nvm,.This Message Edited On 05.20.07

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 20th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

edit: has anyone managed to find tabs/tab out some of their stuff?


Uhhhhh good luck with that.

Abaddon2005
May 20th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah.. I've been working on melody 4 but damn, it's tough. I just sort of try to slow the music down in my head and figure it out that way but it's really hard.

slim thugga
May 21st 2007



1 Comments


I'm an enormous At the Drive-In fan and an adept guitarist so this sounds like something I would really enjoy.

My AIM screenname is "lookmack" so if anyone could IM me and send me a .zip file or even just a few songs that'd be awesome.

I'm requesting this because there's some error with my Soulseek installation, causing it to malfunction. And I can't find any seeded torrents or any songs on Limewire. If anyone could help that'd totally kick ass.

iamrockzorz
May 21st 2007



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive been trying to work out melody 4 and 7 but the two guitars intertwine so well that its hard to distinguish at times whos playing what. this newer stuff should be easier to figure out due to their loss of 1 guitarist.

maps and atlases reminds me a lot of this band.

iamrockzorz
May 21st 2007



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey ill send you it when i get home tonight at around 3 if you want, my sn for aim is the same as my name here

The Jungler
May 21st 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds really cool, should I get this or the s/t?
Good review too

iamrockzorz
May 21st 2007



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the self title is better in my opinion, this is good though. id start with the self title


embroglio
May 21st 2007



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i can play melody 7, save a few notes missing in some chords. melody 3 is hella tight though, i love that riff

iamrockzorz
May 22nd 2007



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey give me your email lookmack so i can email the rar file to you i dont have to do it over aim, my internet stutters sometimes. my email is shenanigan509@msn.com

P13
June 9th 2007



1327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man, it sucks this isnt on iTunes yet!

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 9th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Dude, Tera Melos themselves asked people to upload it online and share it using P2P since this is a vinyl release. IM me at DFelon204409 and I'll send it to you.



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