Album Review by Annabel Bayross
Texan boys, Conrad Keeley, Neil Busch, Jason Reece and Kevin Allen of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have released their third album SOURCE TAGS & CODES.
A lot of tracks on the album are a balance of haunting melodies and explosive sounds – the singing also follows that juxtaposition – often quiet and muffled and then suddenly loud, rasping and immediate. The band deeply explore and experiment with sounds; many of the tracks incorporate peculiar noises, reverb and distorted guitars which in turn helps to create the sense of chaos, albeit controlled chaos.
IT WAS THERE THAT I SAW YOU is the opening song on the Trail Of Dead’s most recent offering. It begins with a two minute intro of serene piano playing, the kind of music you’d like to wake up to – but it is offset by a minor key which creates quite a chilling atmosphere. There’s an undercurrent of background noise with vocals and sounds overlapping and rippling through the music. Then the guitar and vocals kick in and we are treated to a sumptuous feast of heavy punk rock.
HOMAGE and DAYS OF BEING WILD have no preamble, these songs are instantaneous punk thrash – the singing is angry, fast and with a sense of urgency and at that velocity the words become almost indecipherable. The finest track on the album, HEART IN THE HAND OF THE MATTER begins slowly and atmospherically but then speeds up, changing pace back and forth. The lyrics are sad and you can hear the sadness in his voice, this with the coarse drumbeat and deep bass make it a raw, energetic but hauntingly fine tune.
MONSOON entices and draws you into the depths of the song, but in this case doesn’t finish with a slap round the face instead the end is one full of atmosphere and reflection. What the band seem to have mastered so perfectly is the ability to create music that lures the listener into a false sense of security by the use of peaceful piano music for example, and then this tranquility can be turned in an instant to something most chilling and unnerving. The songs seem to merge and overlap one another throughout the album making it appear like one long piece of changing music. This third album from THE TRAIL OF DEAD is a truly gifted offering.