. . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead | The Century of Self

Richter Scale (2009)
By RYAN STEWART  |  February 23, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

After one richly praised classic (2002's Source Tags & Codes) and one dud (2005's Worlds Apart), Texas's Trail of Dead settle into a nice groove somewhere between the two on their sixth album. They still sound like Drive like Jehu meet Yes, and their specialty continues to be intense songs that could double as the soundtrack to an epic film featuring demons and elves. The song titles reflect this: "Halcyon Days," "Fields of Coal," "Bells of Creation." Conrad Keeley is still not what you might call a gifted vocalist, but he stays within his limits, except for that odd falsetto on "Inland Sea." The band also pay more attention to sequencing than most outfits in this Internet age; the individual tracks sound as if they couldn't work anywhere but alongside one another. Yet whereas Trail of Dead at first were hailed for the way they held nothing back, they could now perhaps benefit from some restraint — their foray into Weillian waltz-time piano weirdness (the two-part "Insatiable") is ill-considered. I'm tempted to say they should stick to what they do best; then again, their power ballad, "Luna Park," isn't half bad.

. . . AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 1 | 18+ | $14 |www.mideastclub.com

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  Topics: CD Reviews , And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Middle East Downstairs
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