‘Lost Songs’ is the latest album by the alternative-rock band …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Despite whatever images their name conjures up, Trail of Dead are actually a rather ordinary band in terms of their music. When I first heard of them, I was under the impression that Trail of Dead were a heavy-metal band, (why I thought this, I do not know). When I first listened to their first album I was fairly surprised to hear the kind of music the band was producing. The music wouldn’t sound completely out-of-place on a Tony Hawk’s soundtrack, as it seems to fall into many different categories of alternative-rock music.
That being said, some of the songs have a much darker edge to them, which gives them a lot of flair and personality. The instrumentation in each song is highly impressive, and it can’t be denied that the band understands what they’re doing when it comes to their song-writing, and their song-performing. The whole album drifts in and out of aggressive moments that build up and up, and more chilled out moments that allow for moments of calm, that can sometimes feel quite sinister and dark.
There are some brilliant songs on the album, including ‘Up To Infinity’, which features manic vocals that are barely comprehensible, which are accompanied by fast-riffs and drums. It’s midway through the song that everything seems to disperse, giving the song a chance to let the bass and drums slow down to create an impressive groove. It helps with the character of the song, and it gives the whole album variety, as at least in some of the songs, they don’t always drag on and on. There is also self-reference in the album, with songs reflecting each other. The ending of ‘Up To Infinity’ is a slow groove, featuring a guitar line and an accompanying bass, which becomes the opening for the track ‘Flower Card Games’. It gives the whole album a story, with each song being it’s own separate chapter. The self-reference in terms of the music reminds me much of how ‘The Fragile’ by Nine Inch Nails plays out, which has many bass-lines or piano instrumentals being references in later songs. It is an interesting style of song-writing, and what is most impressive about the album is how unassuming it is. It is done on purpose, sure enough, but it isn’t done in a way that is easily recognisable. It is almost subtle, shall we say, which makes it all that more rewarding.
In conclusion, ‘Lost Songs’ is a satisfying album. It is aggressive and loud in places, but it isn’t completely loud to the point of being deafening. There is actual craftsmanship and talent going into the writing of each song, making the whole album a good album. It isn’t perfect by no means. On the contrary, there is a lot that could be ironed out and made perfect. But at least we can see a band trying, and doing their best on this record. Sure enough, there’ll be great things to come from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, despite what their band-name suggests.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Up To Infinity
- Flower Card Games
- Heart Of Wires