So, here we have a record from a group that's recently relocated to Brooklyn and uses pre-release interviews as a way to send mash notes to the likes of Dirty Projectors and Yeasayer, bands they bear no sonic similarity to at all. Yeah, big deal-- we could be talking about any number of new jacks with a competen
t PR team. But this is ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead-- fiercely Austinite and not the kind of people you'd call "joiners." If you're checking in for the first time since 2002, Trail of Dead followed up the monumental Source Tags & Codes with a spending spree of goodwill, beefing with label execs, hectoring reviewers, and having their live shows punctuated with intraband violence. And yes, they made albums, too. While I won't tell how high the perversely enjoyable, self-immolating clusterfuck of Worlds Apart ranked on my 2005 year-end list, I can assure you my enthusiasm for it placed me in the minority. On its follow-up, So Divided, Trail of Dead didn't even bother trying to be provocative. It would've been the sound of a band bottoming out if they hadn't gone on to open for Dethklok in one of the most emasculating turnarounds in rock history.