And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: Lost Songs
[Richter Scale/Superball Music]
Good on these guys for still doing it, even if “these guys” is really only Conrad Keely, Jason Reece and whomever they’ve got filling in the blanks nowadays. But it’s still impressive, the fact that, like another group with a similar trajectory that recently released its latest not-bad album, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead are still around. And they still have something to say, in fact, if their eighth long-player is to be believed. The years have been less than kind to Trail of Dead, but in the face of critical revulsion and intra-band drama, the Texas rockers have emerged refreshed, seemingly, and as vibrant-sounding as they’ve been in quite some time.
Recorded in Germany after time spent in various locales and writing in the band’s hometown of Austin, Texas, Lost Songs splits the difference between some of the more overly emotive/dramatic Trail of Dead featured on recent albums, and the frenetic, exciting Trail of Dead of its the early years. Tracks like “Open Doors” and “Catatonic” are brothers in arms with the halcyon-era, breathless punk rock the band earned its early critical stripes for. If for nothing else than the fact that they serve as fist-pumping anthems, Lost Songs is a success. And when Reece sings, “We’re catatonic! Looking for something new!” it’s clear Trail of Dead have discovered what was once Lost.