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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CD Review-So Divided: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

CD Review-So Divided: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

By Isaiah Smith/entertainment editor

trailofdeadLong-winded rock band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are So Divided on its new album. Imagine Green Day, only more wasted.

“ We used to tell people we were in choir together. That was a lie,” Conrad Keely, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for the band, said in a press release. “Why? I realized long ago … people enjoy being lied to.”
Fans of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s fabrications will be disappointed with this album because it is more honest, Keely said in the release.

“ I discovered that these new songs were attempting to do something quite different,” he said. “They were attempting to reveal … So I ran with the honesty, and the result was amazingly somber.”

He is not kidding. “So Divided,” the title track, has some acerbic lyrics. The music is awesome: completely fresh and new sounding. Keely’s vocals are very reminiscent of Green Day and not just because of the politics in the song; they sound alike.

Somber is a good descriptive here. This band is so obsessed with the darker side of life on this album, they almost turn from rock band to emo band.

“ Witch’s Web” is one of my favorite songs on this album. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead slows it down and provides a memorable slow-jam.

The best choice for a single would be the hard-rocking track “Naked Sun.” There is a total Jet vibe to this track, and they get plenty of airplay. 

The band also has a cover of “Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory,” originally done by Guided by Voices. What is up with this band’s affinity for extremely long names?

One interesting option for a single is “Life.” It sounds kind of like Pink Floyd yet modernized. I think this would go over great on alternative rock stations.

A few of the songs have an overdone ’60s Brit-pop sound. “Eight Days of Hell” almost sounds like a missing Beatles recording … key word: almost. The happy feeling and tambourines sound out of place on this album.

“ Wasted State of Mind” is surprisingly frantic for a song with the word “Wasted” in its title. I think there are bongos on this track, but it could be some kind of electronic stuff.

“ Sunken Dreams,” the album’s haunting, hard-rocking last track, warranted its own lead-in track, “Segue: Sunken Dreams.” I love it when an artist takes the time to add an intro and some interludes or segues; it shows the artist cares about the music.

“ I never felt any guilt for the lies,” Keely said, “because, to me, they represented the very core of our occupation—we were, first and foremost, entertainers … Not musicians, not recording artists, not poets, but entertainers.”

I am So Divided over this album. On one hand, the music is fresh and new and the vocals are great; on the other hand, I do not hear a lot of replay value. I give So Divided three stars. And that is no lie.

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