And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Worlds Apart (Interscope)
Every once in a while, every once in a great while, a band comes out with a piece of music that nearly stops time, a piece of music that makes you question your position of being an authority about music, a piece of music that makes you reject the entire English language when you try to describe it to yourself or anyone else because it’s too cliche-riddled, a piece of music that nearly destroys your career as an unpaid record reviewer because you have had it for almost two months and your editors may never trust you with an advance copy again because you can’t figure out what to say about it, and that may sound like an excuse but you can’t, you really fucking can’t.
This is that piece of music.
In light of all that I have just disclosed, I present to you an incomprehensive list of adjectives and phrases that were considered and rejected for various reasons the multiple times this record reviewer tried to sit down and write about this album.
Anthemic; Swaggering; Confident; Wistful; Post-Apocalyptic; Post-9/11; Post-Punk; Chekhovian; Orchestral; Frustrating; Commanding; Gorgeous; Theatrical; No really, this shit needs to be choreographed; Insistent; Plaintive; Clunky; All-encompassing; Seriously; Defiant; Nasal; Thrumming; Guttural; Tour De Force; Was the word “cunt” really necessary there?; Hopeful; For real; Resigned; Ironic; Explosive; Sighing; Romantic; Sort of like Pink Floyd; Sort of like the Rolling Stones; Sort of like Queen; Hedwig And The Angry Trail Of Dead; Percussive; Mournful; Railing; Aching; Meta; Graceful; Complete; Incomplete.
Here is a comprehensive list of the thoughts that came to mind immediately after the first time I finished listening to Worlds Apart:
“Holy shit, I’m never going to be able to write about this album.”
So you see, there are some things in this situation that record reviewers can say.
11 thoughts on “And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Worlds Apart”
I love me some good meta-criticism. Haha. Looks like I’ll have to pick up this and Futureheads at the same time.
I completely sympathize with the author here. I was once assigned to interview the TOD guys for a zine, and after five hours of taped conversation was left with absolutely nothing usable, even for the most gonzo of pieces. These Texans defy convention and non-convention all at once.
They exist in a separate universe.
Yup. Check it.
i really hope this album isnt as difficult to digest as the reviewer has stated. i am just starting to write reviews and im sure i will be in a similar predicament soon. regardless, im really looking forward to this cd, i think tod will put out a solid disc, and if not i can just throw in source tags and codes.
got trashed by pitchfork… i’m totally fuckin’ buyin’ it…
I’m actually kinda dissapointed with this album. I was really really looking forward to it, I loved Source Tags and Codes, but this one just doesn’t seem to have the same power. I don’t know, maybe I’ll change my tune after a few spins.
Tom: for the record, it was exactly the same way with me. The first listen was “…the fuck?!” but by approximately listen 5 i was “…the fuck?!?!”
See the difference?
i love the album, except for maybe “let it down”, which sounds a bit too much like rocket off siamese dream. sarah, your review is one of the best about the album that i have read. thanks.
I’m glad they’ve expanded their sound and are trying new things. I like a lot of the songs off the new one and am pretty excited about the documentary the expanded version came with.
I’m digging it so far. It’s definitely a different sound, but it still feels like a Trail Of Dead album.
Hol-ee shit. When I saw them in May, they were sounding pretty rough. I was all ready to write them off, but this is a sweet album.
And fuck Pitchfork. With a dirty stick if you want, I’m not picky.