...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Worlds Apart

Alex Worsnip 31/01/2005

Rating: 3/5

Having achieved commercial breakthrough with 'Source Tags & Codes', …Trail Of Dead return with the follow up, which again recalls a Texan, hoarier and manlier Sonic Youth. A truly horrible cover makes a bad first impression, but the music is quite a separate entity. This is epic and progressive rock that pummels endlessly, at times getting overbearing but usually underpinned by musical complexity. Saxophones adorn the multi sectioned 'Will You Smile Again', which moves from stealthy stoner-rock to beckoning introspection to bluesy stomp and back again, while 'The Rest Will Follow' is triumphant and melodic. 'All White', with its Pink Floyd-esque backing vocals, surprisingly recalls slow 70s prog-rock meeting modern balladry, to interesting if generally unspectacular results. Better is the explosive 'Caterwaul', which recalls Smashing Pumpkins in is vital assault.

Too often though, the same phrases get repetitive, and the endless onslaught of guitars and drums gets migraine-inducing - 'The Best', for example, adds very little to the record. In this respect it suffers from the same problems as its predecessor, but somehow Source Tags and Codes carried it off on the majority of tracks, at least. Pretension also takes hold right from the outset, with opener 'Ode To Isis' just as overblown as its title might suggest, as the title track equally overcooked. Generally, this is a most impressive record, but it just sometimes is less fun to listen to than it should be. Trail of Dead should be about noise for thrills, not in a stodgy manner. Still, worth a listen, without a shadow of a doubt.