Tera Melos - Drugs to the Dear Youth (Cover Artwork)

Tera Melos

Drugs to the Dear Youth (2007)

Sargent House

One of the reasons, if not the biggest reason I went to see the Fall of Troy recently was so I could get my hands on a copy of the new Tera Melos EP, Drugs to the Dear Youth, which the band decided to release only on vinyl. Needless to say I was excited to get home, get a joint out and let this record spin as I consider their self-titled debut to be among the best releases of 2005. Jagged riffs, constant time changes, and a very At the Drive-In type sound made that album a great record.

Drugs opens, much like their self-titled album, with an electronica track called "Ambassaders of All That Is Good." The difference between the elctronica elements of their self-titled album and the bits of electronica on this record is that where the first release seemed to contain a lot of pointless dabbling, Drugs actually uses these techno elements to move the album along. Up next is a long cut called "40 Rods to the Hog's Head." I can't say how long this track is since vinyl doesnt have a time meter on it, but it's long, and sets the pace for an album that finds the band dipping more into their free-form jazz elements and ditching some of the post-hardcore elements of their debut.

"Guy vs. Sniper" and "A Spoonful of Slurry" continue the exploration of the jazz form. There also seems to be fewer chords played in favor of more finger picking and scale work, which on this album works well. There are a few times on the album where the sounds start to become disjointed and you think Tera Melos might be losing it, but then WHAP!, the band comes right back together and things get tight again. In my opinion, there aren't many bands better at doing this than Tera Melos. Next is my favorite track "The Werewolf and Ben"; the drums and bass take a bit of a background role as the guitar works stays slow and trippy. Did I mention this is a good album to listen to while enjoying your illegal substance of choice? Finally, the album closes out with "(Is Good for What Ails You)," which I believe has some kind of connection to "A Spoonful of Slurry" as the back of the vinyl cover has an arrow pointing from that track to the other. That last track is a short but sweet one which acts as more of a techno-flavored closer to the album. Take "Melody 1" and the end of "Melody 5" from the first album and throw them in a bag and "(Is Good for What Ails You)" is what you get.

Overall I like this album; it's not anywhere near as heavy and jagged as its predecessor, but Drugs to the Dear Youth is still a very distinct Tera Melos sound. I believe the band has done a great job of expanding on the quieter aspects of their music and focusing a little more on the ambient than on the melting your face...which is something still available, much like Drugs to the Dear Youth, via their live show.