You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
"Worlds Apart" CD
Genres: indie rock, punk rock
Jan 31 - Feb 6 2005
I was recently surprised to read a less-than-complimentary review of Worlds
Apart in a certain prominent indie zine. While I'm willing to concede that, perhaps, this
record isn't Trail Of Dead's best, I don't think it can be
faulted for not living up to the promise of its predecessor.
When push comes to shove, this is a strong release from the band - it
may be a bit overdramatic at times, but it's more melodic and
effective than most of its ilk. Some may be concerned that Trail
Of Dead is running thin on inventiveness, treading the same warm
water, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet. Worlds
Apart is a particularly accessible venture for the band - perhaps
the most plausibly mainstream record they've come up with yet - and,
if you just let yourself enjoy it, there should be nothing stopping
you from lapping it all up.
So let's attack this record from start to finish.
Orchestral opener "Overture" introduces Worlds Apart
with considerable fanfare and drama; it's got a sense of irony behind
it, but it also gets your adrenaline going. After a screech from
the bowels of goodness-knows-where, we get "Will You Smile Again
For Me," a charging, pounding anthem that recalls the Trail Of
Dead of old, though it comes off a bit crisper and more refined. It's
a nice song, but it's really just a little foreplay before the album's
title-track (seven minutes of foreplay for a three minute climax...),
which has a nice, carefree sound that is a bit punky but still
powerfully melodic. It definitely has some mainstream potential,
but it isn't the most memorable song on here.
"Summer 93" kicks in with some really impressive
quiet-loud contrasts, though for some reason it doesn't seem like it's
own piece (in the way that the title-track does.) Next
up, "And The Rest Will Follow" is founded on a particularly
strong melody (alternative radio, look out!), while
"Caterwaul" is aggressive but melodically dry.
Fortunately, the pounding "Classic Art Showcase" makes up
for this discrepancy with a powerful, desperate chorus that should get
anyone yelling along. It makes use of a neat string-based
interlude that really accentuates its climactic finale. Any
self-respecting (or self-loathing) teenager should dig it, as well as
the cathartic angst-rush that comes with it. "Let It
Dive" keeps the good times rolling with a catchy, sensitive
melody, while "Russia My Homeland" and "All White"
are brief and ultimately unnecessary. "The Best" is a
dynamic rock song with piano used to add a touch of moodiness -
though it reminds me of that "best a man can get" razor
commercial - and "City of Refuge," the album's last song,
has a comfortable Pinback-esque structure that leads into a
chorus reminiscent of Trail Of Dead's old work.
So now that you've skipped over the guts of this review just to
glance at the concluding paragraph, I'll try to make myself
clear: Is Worlds Apart revelatory? No. But as
far as grandly dynamic indie rock goes, nobody does this quite as well
as Trail Of Dead.
12 tracks, distributed everywhere, released 2005]