…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead // Tao Of The Dead // February 7 // Century Media
Then again, one should not judge book by it’s cover no matter how fucked up it is. Take, for example, Austin’s And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, a band that sounds like they should’ve been supporting Fear Before The March Of Flames for the last 10 years. The truth is, AYWKUBTTOD (wtf) are nothing like that, they play adrenaline rush fueled indie verging on emo (the good kind) with added progressiveness. Weren’t expecting that were you?
It’s not like …Trail Of Dead are something new by now, they’ve been going for more than a decade and arguably had their creative peak at the start of this millennium. Tao Of The Dead is their 7th album and if anything, it’s among the poppy stuff they’ve ever done. Summer Of All Dead (…) Souls and Weight Of The Sun are such stadium fodders, I can almost feel fat naked boys with tattoos on their massive chests spilling their beer on my head. The soaring riffs, the epic drumming, the spacey production. You have my ears boys.
So while they’re in their breakneck mode, things go rather well, but the problem with half of this album is that it falls apart as soon as the band take their foot off the pedal. Middle of the album contains far too many introverted campfire experiments that wouldn’t be out of place on a Fleet Foxes record if they took more ketamine. For a band that has to offer so much energy they sure like to tone it down and enforce sheer boredom on their fans. It feels forced, as if they know that they’re the best at making music full of passion, which they are quite good at, but felt that they need to mix things up and add some completely unnecessary shit. I’m all for musical evolution but I’m also a firm believer of “if it ain’t broken…” rule. That or they should’ve found new things to add without removing the best things they can do, dicks.
Tao Of The Dead is a cracked mirror, you know what you want to see and you can make out fragments of it but regretfully, there’s too many flaws that would make it worthwhile. There’s some worthwhile addition to their canon of songs and surely, the branching out into downtempo directions will get them a new wave of supporters but in the end, if the two best songs on the album is the same song, you know you’re in a fucking trouble.