And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - The Secret of Elena's Tomb (Cover Artwork)

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

The Secret of Elena's Tomb (2003)


Having released the album hailed by many critiques as one of the best indie-rock records to date last year (Source Tags and Codes), Austin-based And you will know us by the Trail of Dead (ToD) knew what kind of expectations they had in store before the release of their new EP ‘The Secret of Elena's Tomb'. Let me be the first to tell you, if you liked Source Tags and Codes (or any of their earlier releases) you will most probably not be disappointed.

Consisting of only 5 songs (19.09 minutes), the EP doesn't have the depth to scar you to the degree their earlier albums did (as often is the case with EP's). The scar it does leave however smells of creativity and quality.

Opening with the intense ‘Mach Schau', ToD drives you right into their world of playful guitar-wizardry, perfectly complemented by equally playful bass-lines and bizarre oral utterings. ‘All Saints Day' and ‘Crowning of a Heart' tunes down a bit, but are in return the two best songs on the EP, and quite possibly two of the best songs ever released by the band. ‘Counting off the Days' is more of a sentimental piece, an acoustic guitar and Conrad Keely's voice accompanied by something sounding like a hybrid between an old viking-horn and a fiddle. The last song on the EP is actually an old tune called ‘Intelligence', the product of an experiment by Jason Reece and a bunch of his friends. It's really just weird, with drum machines and wicked samples all over the place.

The special atmosphere, creativity and innovation that made ToD what they are today remain very apparent on the EP. As mentioned, if you're a fan, there's absolutely no reason for you not to get this.