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CD Review – …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: Tao of the Dead

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Tao of the Dead
Richter Scale Records

Rest in peace, whoever the band was that wrote Source Tags & Codes. You are obviously no longer with us, and your passing is mourned. Sure, there’s some band out there claiming to be …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, and it’s probably safe to say that nobody else would take up that name by choice. And sure, their new record, Tao of the Dead, hints at both the ear-searing intensity and the attention to melody that made the run of songs from “Another Morning Stoner” to “How Near How Far” so unstoppable. But the people who replaced you, well, they decided that the twiddly bits at the end of “Baudelaire” were more interesting than the song itself, which is why potentially great tunes like “Pure Radio Cosplay” don’t so much end as peter out. Now, granted, they do some interesting things with the atmospherics this time around, like the burbling “Spiral Jetty”, but those songs are quite short, especially in comparison with the 16-minute prog monolith that rounds out the record. Things like that, Trail of Dead? They just make us miss you more.

John Cameron
Editor-in-Chief

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