Trail of Dead expands their horizons some more...again irkin
yssim999 | Wisconsin | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this record. For what it is worth, I have been with ...Trail of Dead since the Madonna days. Some people think that they have "sold out" or gone "soft". These people have the rights to their own opinions, as do I, as do you.
Once upon a time I was an angsty teenager. I thought that early Genesis and any band that played more than 3 chords and some feedback weren't worth my time. Then I grew up. So did this band, end of story.
Chances are, the people disappointed with this record and the previous, World's Apart, are still in an angsty period in their lives. They don't look for music to be interesting, layered, a throwback to other influential bands/genres/time periods or dareisay different than what's on radio now. And even though you can still spout angsty, bitter poetry over music that is not thrashy, punky or moshy, some people will call it "selling out".
If you are trained in music (and I don't mean you picked up a guitar in your garage), enjoy more than one genre of music, enjoy epic- longered than 3 minutes, takes you on a musical journey instead of a pre-fab verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge music (think early Genesis, Pink Floyd), layered music, enjoy listening to music to listen to (not just for background effect or cool points or cleaning your house to) Then this cd might make you say "wow. based on todays indieemohardcore rock airplay, i did not expect that." And perhaps you will smile. I did."
alexander laurence | Los Angeles, CA | 05/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Trail of The Dead is a talented band from Texas that has been around for while. This is their fourth album. They have released many EPs and have gone through many change of members. I met them around the time of Source Tags & Codes, which was their best album. They came out with a decent record a few years ago that was good, but it didn't catch on. Now they have this new one that sees them getting stripped down and getting back to their early sound. Heavy rock and figurative art have been big influences all the way through their career. Lead singer Conrad creates some of the artwork for the albums. You have a few cool songs with "Stand In Silence" and "Wasted State of Mind." They are constantly experimenting with percussion and new instruments. "Naked Sun" and "So Divided are like their glam rock songs. "Segue: In The Realms of The Unreal" is a reference to the work of Henry Darger. This album is a more focused effort. It's more Beatles than Zeppelin. It's more like Abbey Road than the White Album. They have done something good here. It may not be a fad, but it is important music. Trail of the Dead are one of the best bands in America."
So much for early promise...
Matthew T. Medlock | Cincinnati, OH | 07/04/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I decided to skip Worlds Apart (the reviews were, um, unkind), so I don't know how low AYWKUBTTOD fell, but I assume that So Divided is indicative. This is less a terrible album than just an all-around disappointment, limp where Source Tags was vibrant. Most songs reek of failed efforts to craft towering mini-masterpieces, when in actuality they run out of steam long before the end (and mostly didn't have much steam to begin with). The anthemic "Wasted State of Mind" wants to soar (and does manage to get off the ground), but its overabundant reliance on percussion makes it more oddity than winner. When they go shorter, they may be even less successful. The opening moments of "Life" promises something great, but then the remainder hobbles along at a leaden pace for nearly six minutes, five minutes longer than the song held my interest. The intro and interludes on Source Tags made announcements and transitions; the ones here are pure filler, eager to be stripped away from the seemingly (but not actually) bloated final product. And their cover of "Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory" sounds maudlin where Guided By Voices' original was gorgeous.
Not every moment is wasted, though. There are two halfs of good songs on "Naked Sun" (too bad that crashing them together feels like overkill). "Stand in Silence," while a bit traditional for them, at least has the energy and furor lacking elsewhere. And the title track, while overdrawn and overlong, has moments of power and grandeur that they've otherwise seem to have forgotten since Tags. In all though, this band is beginning to sound as lifeless as their name would suggest.
Best cuts: "So Divided," "Stand in Silence," "Witch's Web," "Naked Sun""