The long-awaited follow-up to 2013's X'ed Out, Trash Generator finds the Sacramento-based math rock unit turning in another singular set of knotty, hook-laden, anti-pop emissions that deliver daring feats of fingerboard wizardry, jerky time-signature-be-damned rhythmic shifts, and melodies that demand to be paid attention to. Who knew that combining the intelli-pop acumen of Game Theory and the Futureheads, the nerdy logistics of Rush, and the fevered attack of Sonic Youth would yield such a satisfying confection? It also helps that Tera Melos, for the most part, applies some brevity to their particular brand of progressive punk rock, allowing for the occasional excursion into mini-epic territory, but keeping things mostly in the three to four-minute realm. Production-wise, Trash Generator proves to be a punchier and more sonically well rounded affair than its predecessor, but it retains X'ed Out's fondness for melody, consistently excavating earworms, then tearing them to bits to see what else they're capable of. In less skilled hands, such architectural sorcery would seem unwieldy, but Nathan Latona, Nick Reinhart, and John Clardy are more than up to the task, and while the 12-track set is spilling over with ideas, it never feels like the wheels are about to come off. Some of that is due to Reinhart's even-keeled vocal delivery, which goes a long way in tempering some of the album's more unfettered moments, of which there are many. Difficult as they may seem on first spin, temporal haymakers like "Your Friends," "Don't Say I Know," and the muscular title cut are almost elegant in their calculated ferocity. Trash Generator shows that the band have continued to evolve, but that they certainly haven't lost sight of what made them special in the first place.