And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
Source Tags & Codes CD - Interscope
As though we needed to be reaffirmed by the power of great loud guitar music, Austin’s …Trail of Dead delivers a blast of welcome power in their major-label debut. Fresh air, indeed. It’s not just the power of the guitars (which at times resembles the more aggressive tunes by Sonic Youth) that makes this shine; it’s the way they wrap them around a hook in a most tuneful way. It’s intelligent, but too powerful to be math rock (unless you can imagine Don Cabellero as a more straightforward band with vocals). It’s like a lot of things… but there really isn’t anything else like them (well, except maybe for fellow Texans Sparta, who spun off of At The Drive-In). There’s so much here to digest, what with a lyric book that’s like a Frank Miller comic book, and titles such as “Baudelaire.” If the songs were enunciated carefully instead of screamed it might be a whole different ball game. But that’s what makes this band such an intriguing prospect, the concept of thinking men rocking like motherfuckers. Kind of like meeting Gibby and his Butthole Surfer cronies (whose drummer, King, discovered and released Trail of Dead’s first album), assuming he’s a wastoid only to discover that he’s actually a super-intelligent Certified Public Accountant. Interesting contradictions, but does it sell records? Will their major-label debut be their major-label swan song? Can a band that is as smart as they are loud get songs on the radio alongside mindless drivel by Creed and Dave “Puppy-dog boy” Matthews? If I knew the answers to these questions do you really think I’d tell you? (Caliban Jones)



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