a trail of the dead review

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead @ The El Rey Theater (Los Angeles, CA) 04.05.02

The last time I was genuinely frightened at a rock concert was when I was a teenager at this old punk rock place near Lawrence, Kansas called The Outhouse. I was there to see a death metal band called Cannibal Corpse. The place was crawling with skinheads in steel-toed Doc Martins that were ready to kick anyone’s ass. Then there was the Trail Of Dead show last night.

Despite being a little frightened by the evening, which was nothing short of stellar, Trail Of Dead put on one of the loudest and most aggressive shows I have ever seen. The energy that they put into their show is insane, and I mean that in the best possible way. Prior to seeing them live, I had only read reviews, so I kind of knew what to expect. Reading about it and witnessing it were two completely different things. I don’t mean to make such a stink about the show part of the concert, because they are an immensely talented bunch of Texans, but their live show is very much a part of appreciating them.

Their new album, Source Tags & Codes is somewhat of a really loud rock opera. I’ll go so far as to say that if art has a sound, this band is channeling it quite well. It’s Sonic Youth meets At The Drive In meets Public Enemy. Trail Of Dead turn out some of the most agro melodic music that I have heard in years. Listen to the opening track, "It Was There That I Saw You," and tell me you don’t hear it.

Conrad and Jason trade off between drums and guitars/vocals. If Jason were any more full of energy, the El Rey Theater could very well have blown up. Actually they damn near tore down the place. Yelling at the top of his lungs while Neil (on bass) thrashed about lending his own vocals on occasion, Jason stood on the monitors and speakers taunting the audience. They wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time, and as far as I could tell, they were.

It was clear that not only are these guys a band, but they are collaborators as well. It all just went so well…until they invited people on stage with them. The crowd was already pretty rough. A few people even jumped off the stage into the crowd, including band members. It was all so moving on many levels. I loved the whole experience. The evening ended with the band destroying everything on stage. Nothing was left, but a trail of dead [instruments]. Beauty in chaos.

4 thoughts on “a trail of the dead review”

  1. Vague Jealousy: I knew it. I was watching MTV2 yesterday and besides a White Stripes video I saw TOD’s video for …..

  2. just saw the TOD here in lawrence, and although they’ve calmed down quite a bit from their days of replay lounge-ified mayhem (lots more stuff got broken back then, it seems), i’d still sell almost anything valuable to go see them play. was the show packed? i’m just wondering how “the industry town” is responding to the men of austin. as much as i hate “the hype” around them, if anyone deserves it, it’s the TOD.

    and for arguments sake, i can’t say that the At the Drive In comparison is something i really agree w/…it’s a bit too contemporary and a bit too aggro for them, as odd as that may sound. i always give the “sonic youth meets the who”comparison…dischordant sing along arena rock anthems.

    hope all is well w/ you mr. barrish.

  3. Greg – Nothing I like better than knowing that people in Lawrence , Kansas are reading my web site. Actually TOD were talking about some of their influences in an interview and mentioned At The Drive In. Also, while they were on stage they dedicated a song to them. I like “Sonic Youth meets The Who” though. That’s a good one. You can write the next review.

  4. Great band, I.m so glad that they havent’t gone mainstream.Ranks right up there w/my fav Nirvana

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