…AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD play Lee's Palace May 3. See listing. Rating: NNN
After the success of And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's first three records, including Source Tags & Codes, which found them ditching indie cred for major-label support, the Austin band's follow-ups suffered from critical backlash and disappointing sales.
And while it's doubtful that Conrad Keely and Jason Reece will ever recapture the energy that made their early records such visceral thrills, Tao Of The Dead is an engaging album that fuses catchy pop melodies with the artiness that has always set the Austin band apart.
Mixed so its songs blend together, Tao is such a cohesive record that when the second track, Pure Radio Cosplay, is reprised midway through, it seems like the end of an intense musical detour rather than a simple replaying of the song.
Top track: Pure Radio Cosplay