And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - IX (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

IX (2014)

Superball Music

For ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s ninth album, the band appropriately named it IX. Perhaps at one point in time this band would have been considered an alternative rock band or maybe a post-hardcore band (which to me seems like quite the stretch), but it seems like with IX the band is aiming to sound almost an arena rock band, which is something typically punk rock has been against since it’s inception. Bands like Kings of Leon and U2 came to mind when listening to IX. So take that for what its worth.

The eleven tracks make the full album time a lengthy forty-eight minutes and that is due mainly to the very drawn out instrumental interludes in songs like “Jaded Apostles” and “A Million Random Digits” that you would think the producer would have decided to cut down. Instead the listener is sort of trapped in these trippy and synthesizer-filled interludes that make a lot of the songs on this album drag quite frankly. Even the shorter songs (the shortest being two minutes and fifty eight seconds) felt like it could easily have been a four-minute song.

Another somewhat off-putting aspect of this album was the lead vocals. They are very soft and gentle, yet whiny and kind of seem like there is this over use of emotion that goes into every word that is sung. This is very apparent in songs like “Bus Lines” and “Lie Without a Liar.” And whether its an act or not, the vocals get stale after a few songs.

Clearly a lot of work went into IX. It’s a pretty musically complex album that’s very polished. But just because an album is musically complex doesn’t mean that there is too much going on as well. There’s a line between the two.

Does it have its moments? Sure. There is some pretty cool guitar and drum work in “Jaded Apostles” and “Lost In The Grand Scheme.” But the obstacles that are the drawn out interludes and overdramatic vocals make this album just down right difficult to listen to all the way through.