Published Jan 01, 2006Austin, Texas' ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are notorious for a number of reasons, namely their reputation for creating swift and painful acts of violence and destruction at their gigs (which are all considered legendary) and their ridiculously long name. Normally these two characteristics take the spotlight away from their music, but on their major label debut, it is the music that will attract attention. Source Tags & Codes sees the band continuing their obscenely loud ruckus, but with a new melodic element. I dont think we were intentionally trying to write anything catchy, it just happened, says Jason Reece (drums, guitar, vocals). I just think there were more moments when we were feeling a lot more melodic.
Source Tags & Codes introduces the bands ability to successfully pull off sing-along choruses, air-guitar-friendly riffs and even some Beach Boys harmonies (Relative Ways Segue). Baudelaire, for instance, begins with a searing guitar riff that reeks of malevolence while maintaining in-your-head catchiness. Add a chorus that Mick Jagger could have pulled off 35 years ago, and you have a new ingredient in the bands formula. Reece admits that this new feature was just a natural progression for the band. There is this subconscious idea of writing more melodic music because that is what we were feeling at the time. I think it would be really dishonest to have all of our songs be angry and contrived and have this pseudo-anger, he explains. There are some past recordings that were done with this certain amount of aggression thats real like Richter Scale Madness, which is based on, Well, I dont give a fuck. Let's just kill! It was just blatant violence. Whereas now, it's not like we've changed, but I think it just shows theres another side to us.
For those who adore the bands chaotic stylings and dont believe in ruining a good thing, fear not: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are not about to get sentimental and start recording Carpenters covers. Source Tags has its share of anarchy, such as Days of Being Wild and metal tribute Homage. Reece assures that the band is not about to get geriatric and resort to chilling out. I dont think were going to start maturing and begin smoking pipes and sit back and listen to Tortoise. This is a reflection of how were feeling at the moment. And if that doesnt convince you, their trademark obsession with blood embodies the chorus of Monsoon, one of the albums stand out tracks. I guess we are a little obsessed with blood, aren't we?