...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
I live too far away to get all new albums I’m interested in the day they are released. Don’t even tell me about advanced-copies or preview downloading… Anyway, I was given a mp3 cd filled with new goodies (thanks Barbara!) and the first album I listened to carefully was Worlds Apart because, as many people, I was wondering what direction would take Trail of Dead. One thing is sure: it’s hard to recover from releasing a masterpiece. Worlds Apart has stand-out passages while Source of Tags and Codes was and still is a stand-out in itself.
This follow-up is a decent indie-pop-rock album with a touch of Americana and can remind you of numerous 90’s bands such as Modest Mouse, Fuck, The Counting Crows early Yo La Tengo, there is even power-pop à la Weezer in a certain way (‘The Summer of 91’, chorus of ‘And the Rest Will Follow’). ‘Caterwaul’ is a sing-along mid-tempo song that could easily make its way on to radio charts like a Smashing Pumpkins number… After a few listens, you realize it’s just Trail of Dead minus the noisy punkish side even if there are moments close to Source of Tags & Codes (‘Will You Smile Again’).
There already were quiet tracks in Sources of Tags and Codes but grungy noisy songs prevailed over them while here, if there are still trails of their fierce noisy-rock, the band has undeniably eased its ways. Parts which echoed Sonic Youth have almost disappeared. What can strike first is the English aspect of some tracks (‘Let it Dive’ for example). ‘All White’ sounds almost like a Bowie song (circa Ziggy Stardust); sad moments here and there can make you think of The Beatles. And, there is an atmospheric aspect especially near the end of the album that even foolishly makes me think of Pink Floyd. The band has had inclinations towards overtures and interludes since the beginning. Here, there are interludes in-between almost every song and instrumental parts in which the synth regulates the atmosphere (e.g. ‘A Classic Art Showcase’). Do Trail of Dead steer for second millennium prog-rock ??
To be continued…
-SEB ‘whistling in the dark’ WOOd.
/mar 15th 2005/