…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – [Self-Titled]

I’m honestly a little lost on how to approach the self-titled debut from Texas band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. It’s not hard to find someone to rant and rave about the energy at their shows, listening to the album it’s not hard to imagine why, and even if you haven’t heard about their shows – surely most music fans have at least heard the name by now. Really, the music on this album speaks for itself. Opening with the frenetic energy of Richter Scale Madness, the song starts with an “okay, this is a song about killing everybody” and ends by repeating “join the gun club, join the gun club.” It leads into the slower tones of Novena Without Faith, the shouts are replaced with almost inaudible whispers that build to a ‘chorus’ without words, to say simply ‘this music sounds amazing’ would be a gross understatement, thankfully this track clocks in at a little over 8min. As Novena fades, Fake Fake Eyes picks up the quick pace again: with the vocals guiding the music, the riffs are catchy, the drums sound great, and everything plays off everything else perfectly. Half of What continues on a theme of playing off emotion, the keys chosen to play in, the percussion, everything suits the feelings present – it’s hard to put into words just how satisfying the progressions on this song are building up to the chorus: “and sometimes I wonder whether my other half is you, ’cause I am only half of what I am” on the first verse, and “walking down a slippery slope, and you said ‘if I was the sun, you’d be the world I’d shine onto’ but I am only half of what I am” on the second. Gargoyle Waiting has pleasant melodies and percussion, it follows a slow/fast/slow structure, playing well off the lyrics “in all noir, you descend,” the keys are pleasant on the outro, and I loved the low bass hum as well. When We Begin to Steal… is a perfect end to a pretty perfect album. Piano and guitar sound great alongside each other, underneath a bass guitar is hard at work, as the energy dies down, there’s a raspiness in the singer’s voice, “and the sun fades, the waters rise, the stars appear, the night has returned.” Words absolutely do not do this album justice, you have to really listen to it, few albums are as truly rewarding as …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – this is highly recommended listening.


1998 / 39:47

Replay: Immediate replay value.

Added to Playlist:
Novena Without Faith: High Times
Fake Fake Eyes: Rock
Half of What: Rock
When We Begin to Steal…: High Times

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