steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"On a Lake of Dead Trees" CD

Ascetic Records / No Karma Recordings

Genres: indie rock, math rock

Ascetic Records
5248 Bancroft #B
St. Louis MO 63109

May 12 - 18 2003

First listen: First impression: File under: raucous, guitar-heavy / heavy-guitar indie rock.  After a brief stint with Interscope (that's a major label, in case ya weren't aware) that saw the release of their debut album, About Tomorrow's Mileage, Traindodge has shot back onto the scene with their sophomore full-length, On a Lake of Dead Trees, courtesy of St. Louis independent label Ascetic Records.  And if energy, power, and all around rock terror are on your Amazon-style indie rock wish-list, then you can't really go wrong here.

Influenced by the sharp-edged rock of Jawbox and Fugazi, and with a sound similar to that of modern-day rockers like Toronto's Bionic and a more wind-damaged Q and not U, this is the type of rock music that perfectly runs the border of hard rock and melodic accessibility.  Some songs, like "Beckon the Inferno" and "The Unlikely Runaway" go straight for the guttural with a full-on explosive rock attack.  Others, like "The Anecdote" and the complex "The Visit" take a more varied, thoughtful approach.  Often, like in the intricate, intertwined guitar melodies and percussion rhythms of "Knuckles" and "Rusted Lincoln," the music approaches math rock territory, which they pull of surprisingly well.  This combination of sounds, which are varied yet still all relatively homogeneous, works quite well to keep On A Lake Of Dead Trees thoroughly entertaining.

All in all, On a Lake of Dead Trees is a Jawbox-inspired, semi-math rock outing by a relatively new band; it may not be ultra-deep or artistic, but boy is it fun.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]