…And You Will Know us by the Trail of Dead
Richter Scale/Superball Music
Oct 23, 2012 Web Exclusive
In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey plays a puppet to a media mogul whose every move is controlled by powers above; in Liar Liar, he finds himself unable to lie, and in Yes Man Carrey can’t say “no.” Now, imagine if the brilliant Steve Albini was struck by a similar affliction to his imagination and ability to think creatively and produced a Snow Patrol record: you’re either thinking of Biffy Clyro, or you’ve got Trail of Dead’s Lost Songs in a nutshell.
This isn’t to knock a consistently decent, occasionally great post-hardcore band. There’s nothing especially unpleasant here, but everything from the raucous(ish) “Up to Infinity” to the acoustic-led “Heart of Wires” tends to plod rather than soar, as the band is capable of on the likes of Source Tags & Codes or Madonna. The album is perhaps best epitomised by “Opera Obscura”: almost punk-pop but far too lo-fi to ever stand next to those that mastered the genre such as The Ramones or early Weezer.
Despite its title, Lost Songs is an album of new material rather than off-cuts and B-sides. Nevertheless, the directionless nature of the songs leaves them feeling half-formed, perhaps better refined or even left on the cutting room floor than making their way to a full album. (www.facebook.com/andyouwillknowusbythetrailofdead)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10