Spun: …And you will know us by the Trail of Dead

By Garth Paulson

That was disappointing.

After the phenomenal success 2002’s Source Codes and Tags, the long awaited new Trail of Dead album should have been a life-altering, consciousness-expanding, brain-shatteringly good. Though you can’t fault a band for failing to reach near impossible standards, you certainly can fault them for making a crappy album, and when it comes right down to it: Worlds Apart is pretty damn crappy.

The album begins with the laughingly stupid “Ode to Isis,” complete with a full orchestra, a choir, screaming girls and a woman reciting the bands name–it’s as unpleasant and pretentious as it sounds. After the fatal misstep of “Ode to Isis” Trail of Dead do pick things up for a bit. “Will you Smile Again?” is a beautiful display of everything the band does well, expertly mixing brooding atmospherics, complicated guitar interplay and arty tendencies for almost seven beautiful minute.

Unfortunately, it all falls apart immediately thereafter with the title track, its rant against the state of popular music sounds more like Good Charlotte than anything Trail of Dead has ever done.

Though the album does contain a scattering of good songs, such as the Smashing Pumpkins-esque “Caterwaul,” the band mainly stumbles over its own idiosyncrasies throughout, resulting in one song after another of over the top orchestration and failed art-rock.

Eventually, what Worlds Apart ends up sounding like exactly what it is–a new album by a band who recently created their career-defining work and doesn’t have a clue what to do next.


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