… And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Worlds Apart

By Derek Wright

… And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead tries very hard to be edgy.

Unfortunately, the group sounds less like a band expanding its horizons and more often like 20-somethings kicking and screaming, “Pay attention to our attitude!”

The group’s fourth LP lands somewhere in between – not one of those hectic crash landings, but a seamless arrival. Definitely not what the band stayed awake plotting.

Despite all the calculation, Trail of Dead still doesn’t seem interested in its own music. That’s what makes the orchestras, Gregorian chants, chiming guitars and strained vocals slightly off-putting.

Trail of Dead seems more interested in being called experimental than fully experimenting, and instead of hearing a monolithic album we hear a band trying to be monolithic.

However, the failure to commit 100 percent to no-holds-barred noise is a blessing as well as why the album has occasionally stellar moments.

When the group relaxes, it is able to construct brilliant, well thought-out rock songs and stumble upon the edge that its starry-eyed, frequent overreaching always misses.

After all, you can get just as realistic a view with a telescope than actually reaching the stars.