…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead | So Divided (Interscope)

cd_trailCall it a comeback album if you like, but Trail of Dead continues to dominate 12 years after their formation on their fifth LP, and in many ways shows new signs of growth.

 

 

 

 

The new Trail of Dead album, So Divided, is another amazing record. I will never understand how critics managed to find fault in their 2005 masterpiece Worlds Apart. So call it a comeback album if you like, but Trail of Dead continues to dominate 12 years after their formation on their fifth LP, and in many ways shows new signs of growth. The Austin four-piece led by Conrad Keely makes groundbreaking music that blazes past popular trends yet strangely seems to hold a lot of stock in the idiocy of Pitchfork's outrageous, attention-seeking reviews. In an interview with Pitchfork, Keely blamed poor sales on the interdependency of the album, with one song running into another, and felt it would be stronger with more varied individual tracks, like the Sources hit "Relative Ways."

So Divided is punctuated by really great individual tracks but the band maintains the same flowing consistency and well-arranged track list featured on Worlds Apart. For example, the opening track, "Intro: A Song of Fire and Wine," and "Segue," which sets up "Sunken Dreams," have no lyrics but play a big role in tying all 11 songs together. Similarly, one of the highlights, "Stand in Silence," takes off with the electrifying guitar riff that "Intro" ends with and is abruptly interrupted by an insincere orchestral tribute. The greatest surprise comes with the cover of Guided by Voices' "Gold Heart Mountaintop Queen Directory." The Trail of Dead version gives the words more depth, perhaps giving meaning to the title, and doesn't sound as jokey as GBV.

The best portion of the album comes in the eighth and ninth songs: "Eight Day Hell," a parody of 1960s European pop song that adds a light touch to the release, and "Witches' Web" that redirects the album's focus with its slow, reminiscent acoustic effort. So Divided is definitely an album to check out. B+ | Joseph O'Fallon

RIYL: angrier Arcade Fire

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply