And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags and Codes (Cover Artwork)

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Source Tags and Codes (2002)


When was the last time you heard a band that strictly played rock music without all the copious tags? Garage rock, emo-rock, yadda yadda who cares. Finally, here's a band that defies all sub-genres and focuses on crafting intelligent, well-written, and gripping rock songs. The band is "...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead" and the album is "Source Tags and Codes", their third full length and major label debut. And what a debut it is.

First, let's talk about the CD packaging and artwork. I think stunning would be the appropriate term. The cd booklet is filled with eerie and captivating artwork and creative fonts on the lyric sheet. It reminds me of the Radiohead cd booklets in the sense that they're fun to just flip through and provide excellent visuals when listening to the music. But, fancy shmancy packaging are not what make this band so great. The first track is a 4 or so minute indie rock ballad, with guitar interludes that start building up in the middle of the song and come crashing down at the end. The first single, "Another Morning Stoner" starts off with instantly infectious guitar picking that flourishes into a well crafted mid-tempo rock song. The fourth and eighth tracks ("Homage" and "Days of Being Wild") are similar in that they are absolutely infuriating and fast, complete with shouted vocals a-top swirling, noisy guitars, similar to At the Drive-In.

But, the real gems of this cd lie in the darkness that this album contains. The remainder of the songs are all inter-woven and resonate a sound like if Sonic youth and Joy Division started a side project. Every song builds up and explodes into either a frenzy of screeching guitars or layers of soft melodies strewn upon a grand piano. The lyrics are also incredibly impressive, dealing with subject matter related to the darker and tragic things in life. However, don't think that this album is a downer because once you get into the record, you'll find that it really does captivate. This fucker rocks.