...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -Lost Songs
Record Label: Superball Music
Release Date: October 22, 2012
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have been kicking about for quite some time now. Eight albums and eighteen years into their musical career and ...Trail Of Dead are still the world's most abrasive indie rock band. Their eighth album, Lost Songs is a collection of sixteen tracks (or twelve tracks, if you're not hip enough to attain the vinyl edition) of eclectic indie rock that never sticks to formula or slows down... and it's all the better for that.
In their somewhat widespread back catalogue, ...Trail Of Dead, haven't been the most consistent of bands. Drops in the level of their output such as 2005's Worlds Apart and 2006's So Divided create a harsh contrast with the absolute, undeniable genius of 2002's Source Tags And Codes, and this leaves their repetoire feeling a somewhat patchy, despite it including possibly one of the best albums ever created. So, what do we need from ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead? Well, a middle ground would be nice. An album that isn't too over the top or grand, whilst not changing their sound completely. What is Lost Songs? An album that achieves the perfect middle ground without overdoing it and still sounds like the good old fashioned ...Trail Of Dead that we know and love. Hallelujah.
Lost Songs is a credit to the band. It strikes up a balance between intelligent indie rock stompers that can at times verge on the edges of punk rock and a new lighter, catchier side of their arsenal. Opener "Open Doors" is a full blast rock out. Perfect for kicking off the album, it's simplistic and heavy enough to get one pumped for the record however it manages to be technically good enough to not turn off listeners of the more indie variety. "Pinhole Cameras" is basically a punk rock song, and is a fist pump/mosh inspirer. Incredibly fast sounding for a roughly five minute track, it features a minute or so long slacker rock slowing down before running straight back into rock out territory. Whilst that may sound somewhat bizarre and like a bit of a bad idea, it's actually somewhat genius, and makes the track one of the most memorable punk songs that's been written in quite some time.
The lighter side of Lost Songs is somewhat disconcerting in contrast with its heavier edge, however it makes the album a multidimensional entity. "Time And Again" is an upbeat indie-pop track featuring acoustic guitars! Foot-tap and head-nod worthy, it's a highlight of the album and is incredibly catchy. "Skywhaling" will be used on the soundtrack of movies like Juno (meta song reference, hundred hipster points to anyone who knows what I just referenced). It's extremely laid-back and makes it seem like a summer's day. Basically, it's the complete opposite of the aforementioned tracks. The album finishes off with "Idols Of Perversity" a somewhat showy, prog reminiscent track, which is the closest the album gets to indulgence.
Overall, Lost Songs is a great album. At sixteen tracks, it certainly could have done with a little more editing, as certain tracks feature more than a shadow of others on the album. It's not a particularly spectacular release and it seems we will never get the ...Trail Of Dead of 2002 again, however Lost Songs is as good as it's going to get. The album never gets stagnant and avoids the pitfalls of sticking to the same sound or mellowing out with age and ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have quite a few albums in them yet.
This album normally ends at track 12 - the deluxe edition is the 16 track beast.
Yes, thank you. The review points that out.
Anyway, AYWKUBTTOD started out underrated, became overrated (though Source Tags was great) and then became underrated again as a result.
If Source Tags received 8-9/10 reviews instead of 10s, people would not have been inevitably disappointed by their future albums. But Source Tags is great so one must give credit where it's due.