…Trail of Dead – Festival Thyme

Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s been quite some time since anyone has given serious consideration to Austin’s And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, but it seems like the local boys are rearing up to put out another new album.  In order to prepare us all for this new venture, the band has offered up a short four song EP titled Festival Thyme.

Since their last album So Divided, they seem to have lost a little bit of credibility in the music world, as other keep wishing for a rehash of the phenomenal Source Tags and Codes. Let’s face it, this is not the same band, not by a long shot.

The opening track, “Bells of Creation,” has an enormous sound, filled to the brim with swelling guitar sounds piled upon the backs of simple piano tracks.  It’s a much more mainstream approach to the writing process, which we’ve witnessed from these men before, but the chorus is as brash as anything they’ve done before now.  Did he just say “I felt like Satan?” Surely that will get your attention, at least for all you Satan lovers.

“Inland Sea” is the next track on the EP, and once again you see that the band has moved into a much larger scale sound.  The ever-present piano serves as the focal point for this song, as the band moves in and out of the song.  For some reason the vocals, with their emo-tendencies kind of grab at my heart strings.  It’s the same sound as before; it just sounds strangely different.

The final musical track on here, “Festival Thyme” is actually one of the better songs I’ve heard from the band, especially in their most recent years.  It definitely has a post-punk leaning towards Oasis sound, which takes a minute to get used to at first, but give this song a chance.

In fact, give this band a chance.  Sure, they’ve moved on from their origins, or what we deem origins, but who is to say that a band cannot grow up and move forward.  They’ve missed a few steps in the past, but they are still here trying to push on back against the masses.  That, and you’ve gotta love a band based in Austin, Texas.  Here’s to new ground for this well respected band.

And, the artwork is ridiculous.  Ridiculous and good.

Trail Of Dead

Everyone’s favorite Austin band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have been fairly quiet since the release of their 2006 album So Divided which wasn’t exactly loved by critics, or fans for that matter. The band has resurfaced recently with an in depth interview over on the Drowned in Sound website. The interview sees the band discussing a new album set to be released in early 2009 on their own label Richter Scale. The band also recently provided a live set for the Daytrotter website with 4 songs that you can download or stream. (Check out “Will You Smile Again for Me?”) Finally, if you’re not familiar with the band, below is a song called “Another Morning Stoner” off the band’s 2002 album (and best release to date) Source Tags & Codes.


Download: … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead – Another Morning Stoner [MP3]