Having formed midway through the noughties, it seems only right that this Californian trio should launch their first appearance on UK soil with a cacophonous barrage of harsh noise, if not only for it to serve purely as a gesture that proudly signifies “Yes, we are finally here and we are ready to make a din.” Yet as time proceeds, this trio turn chameleon-like into a more precise ensemble; one that puts two warm, comforting hands onto Foals’ lite-math-rock-leaning shoulders and gently whispers, “drop the majority of the vocals”, before embarking on shaking it up with short, sharp snaps of vivaciously quirky alternating rhythmical patterns and the odd flirt with the type of two handed guitar tapping that would even pull an admiring glance from those who foolishly worship at the feet of overly virtuosic ‘guitar gods’ Steve Vai and the poodle permed Yngwie Malmsteen.
Though the latter and their occasional foray into jazz-tinged instrumental breakdowns would usually have many speedily running for the doors, tonight is gracefully saved by their blend of twitchingly unconventional song structures and at times …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead rivalling onstage passion. Tera Melos will seem at least a little bit strange.
By Nathan Westley
Originally published in issue 29 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2011