...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of DeadFeatured review by: UG Team, on august 29, 2003 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Overall Impression: I was a substitute teacher about 10 years ago and had the pleasure (?) of taking a 'special' class of hyperactive kids to an assembly on Valentines Day, AFTER they'd gotten amped on candy.
AYWKUBTTOD are just like those kids - the world of music is their playground, and once onstage they just CAN'T KEEP STILL. At the first live show I saw (before this lovely gem was released) they broke a snare drum on the first song, and were shocked when another local band lent them a drum (bands in their native Austin know better). I remember drummer/guitarist/singer #2, Jason, walking offstage in mid-set and twirling around on the floor on one arm, as if to stir up the crowd like a human blender. These guys have a lot of energy to release, and usually take it out on their arsenal of equipment that knows it lives on borrowed time.
Sonically, this band makes an undeniable nod to the great Sonic Youth era where beautiful noisescapes were barely contained within 'song' frameworks. The Trail of Dead boys have done their homework, and offer a storybook of consistently mesmerizing works of sheer power and pensive grace.
In the album's opener, they get their manifesto right out there, ("This is a riot, right??") as if to warn the timid to hang on dearly. Then "Novena Without Faith" proves just how many gears of the rock machine these guys have mastered with a mellow, yet driving, dreamy quality. Check out the sound byte enclosed here of "Fake Fake Eyes" to hear how much territory they can seamlessly cover in 30 seconds.
Their albums can be addicting for the sheer force of the moods they create, particularly in "Gargoyle Waiting" which sounds like one of them took up residence atop a cathedral in December. The album draws to a close with a sneaky bang on "Ounce of Prevention", creeping in on a one-note wail and building into a frenzied wall of teen angst.
High-quality rock fury and craft that has not been touched since Sonic Youth decided to be a cutesy art band. // 10