Austin, Texas’s …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s major-label debut features a cut entitled “Homage,” and it’s the most misnamed song on the album. Yes, it is steeped in ’90s West Coast post-hardcore, but the rest of the album seems to have been wrested away from Sonic Youth.
With slowly building, jangling chords building off feedback into a wall of noise, backed by drumming wholly at odds with the lackadaisical vocals, the band has clearly studied Sonic Youth from Daydream Nation on. Which is not to say the music is tired, though that’s as much a tribute to the lastingness of Sonic Youth’s output as to the ingenuity of …And You Will Know Us By The Ridiculously Long Name. AYWKUBTTOD tries to mix it up, but the overall feel has the Youthian dreamy aggression.
Imagine the musical equivalent of getting your ass kicked by someone peaking off MDMA, and that’s a fair summary of the Trail of Dead experience.
What’s more interesting is that they’re on Interscope. Above and beyond indie/major bickering, fact is, there is simply nothing I could possibly foresee as being a Top 40 hit on this album. Admittedly, the time is ripe for a new Nirvana, and …And You Will Get Sick Of Typing This Name have garnered credibility and a legacy for energetic and occasionally bloody live shows. But Source Tags & Codes’ languid sprawl is grade A college-radio fodder. Perhaps Interscope is banking on reviving the “niche band,” a band that sells short of platinum but nonetheless sells reliably within a certain demographic; major-label acts operating on this level have been nearly nonexistent since the major label consolidations a few years back.
Or maybe the brass at Interscope just adore Sonic Youth as much as the rest of us.
[DJ Fatkid believes in brevity the same way Crowley believed in God]