And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
The Austin, Texas, group And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead answers the question, “At what cost artistic maturity?” with its long-awaited fourth album, Worlds Apart. Providing a concrete example of the tensions tugging this explosive band in opposing directions in the three or so years since its last full-length, the widely acclaimed Source Tags and Codes, Trail of Dead still dreams big, so big that the band’s noise-punk roots are at times awkwardly shadowed here by string sections and arrangements that echo Queen and Paul McCartney. At the album’s center are the greatest peaks: “The Rest Will Follow” and “Caterwaul” seize upon the collision of melody and chaos the band’s revered for and balance out what the band may cite as “growth” in the songwriting. Ultimately, Trail of Dead still delivers the adrenaline-fueled goods that have transpired on stages left littered with crushed instruments, discarded plastic beer cups and blown amp speakers.