Album Review: Tera Melos
Album: Patagonian Rats
Label: Sargent House
Patagonian Rats is a complex beast. Vastly ambitious, it’s hard to pin down a particular sound that these boys from Roseville, California have aimed for. If anything, they’ve taken a whole concoction of musical ingredients and stirred them up into an album that is haunting, enticing, and most of the time, engrossing.
It’s got a steady pace – Patagonian Rats never rushes to a mad conclusion. But at times it certainly has a bit of a screw loose. The opening tracks simmer rather than boil over: ‘Frozen Zoo’, with its hushed threats of shooting someone, oozes with a hammer horror-esque macabre; ‘Trident Tail’ has a fantastic conclusion when the guitars are tweaked in just the right way to turn a cheery atmosphere into an altogether more sinister one. It’s a nice trick that proves Tera Melos have a lot of interesting directions they can take their music.
The latter half of the album exhibits Nick Reinhart’s guitar a lot more, and he seems to take a great deal of inspiration from the kind of hectic bombardment of riffs pioneered by the likes of Hella. In fact, Hella are a good reference point for Tera Melos. There’s more than a hint of Hella’s madcap songwriting flowing through Patagonian Rats’ veins, albeit with a much more relaxed vocal performance.
The majority of Patagonian Rats is a laid back affair, which comes at the cost of being difficult to fully embrace on initial listens. Each track seems to blend into one another a little too comfortably, resulting in a disorientating experience. It’s hard to criticise outright though – you almost feel that Tera Melos meant to leave the listener in a state of confusion, and with a pair of headphones and the right kind of environment, Patagonian Rats evolves into an engrossing experience.
Originally published at The Line of Best Fit.