...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 9, 2002
Review by Tony BonyataYes, their band name, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, is grotesquely long-winded, but don't let that stop you from checking out some of the edgiest grandiose rock that's come around since Sonic Youth turned distortion and feedback into fine art in the mid '80s.
On their third full-length album, Source Tags & Codes, this Austin, Texas based quartet has crafted a strong collection of eleven songs that combines the subterranean dreaminess of early New Order with the sonic dissonant assault of fellow Lone Star State compatriots and now-defunct aggro-rock act At The Drive-In.
While songs such as the in-your-face punk rantings of "Homage" hearkens back to angst filled bands such as Fugazi and Mike Watts' Minutemen, a deeper look into the psyche of this band is revealed on the ethereal title track, as well the introspective, yet still punchy, numbers "Another Morning Stoner" and "Relative Ways."
When they throw their influences to the wind and work on a clean canvas, however, as they do when chewing on the punk-jerky of "Baudelaire" or "How Near How Far," which finds singer Jason Reece's vocals cooly hanging on to the driving rhythms and shimmering melancholy-laced guitars, ...Trail Of Dead[truncated for space constraints] manages to take artrock into an exhilarating new direction.
Sounding like they've created music for themselves instead of pandering to a false modern-day 'alternative' audience, ...Trail of Dead's latest album is a welcome addition to a hip, new world of rock that is finally rebounding from the lameness of the late '90s.
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