Over the last six years, California trio Tera Melos and their ever-evolving blend of jazz, prog, math-rock and off-kilter punk have started developing a cult-like following with an affection for the band's unconventional song structures and live performances, which blend manic time signature changes with intense noise-influenced improvisational passages with frightening precision.
Interestingly enough, though, ever since 2008, the man responsible for holding down the trio's spastic rhythms has been none other than John Clardy. Locals may recognize that name; the drummer developed his chops playing with local favorites like Fishboy, and has been living part time in the Golden State ever since. And his new band's weeks-old Sargent House release, Patagonian Rats, has been getting rave reviews thus far, with critics praising the band's ability to retain its creativity and byzantine technical prowess while mixing in catchier hooks and more thoughtful lyrics than previous efforts. It is this compromise that has seen Tera Melos' popularity surge as of late, as they've managed to artfully straddle that delicate fence of staying true enough to one's experimental roots and pleasing longtime fans while also achieving a level of accessibility and earning a whole slew of new ones along the way.
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Austin's Zorch, Arlington's Man Factory and San Antonio's Computer Jesus Refrigerator round out one of the most compelling overall lineups The Nightmare has seen in some time.