From hotel rooms to televisions to the fragile egos of groupies, there's something in the DNA of certain musicians that makes them crave the destruction of inanimate objects. For Austin's And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, those objects are their instruments, which they relish in the complete annihilation of during and after their live gigs. This sadistic attitude isn't so much about venting personal angst as it is a reverence for nontraditional methods of making fucked-up noise. Like My Bloody Valentine and Les Savvy Fav, this band expands its sound sideways, driving tornadoes of white noise/feedback into their skyscraper constructions of sound.
On Trail of Dead's second album (and major label debut), Source Tags & Codes, the foursome remains a combustible entity that razes the beautiful and the angry with the same wide blows. Using a heavy hand to force the instruments to scream louder than even the words do (the frenzied vocals are really buried deep), the act mixes keyboards, crackling record samples, sonar-like beeps, and noises that bottle up and explode on every track.
Source Tags is a complex record, with different interactions happening at every level -- from melancholy, atmospheric melodies, to playful mini-ditties, to fits of hardcore guitar aggression. The louder you turn up the volume, the more the individual layers grab you by the jugular, so the best advice is to play this album loud enough to blow the shit out of your stereo. After all, Trail of Dead would definitely appreciate the ensuing equipmental chaos of a busted speaker set caused by their creations. ()
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