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...Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes

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Interscope – 2002 – 49 minutes

Any fears that And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead would quieten down for their major label debut are wiped out within ten seconds of the opening of 'It Was There That I Saw You'. The well-read but badly behaved Texan quartet burst on the scene in 1999 with the sonic wipeout of their second album 'Madonna', pun intended, a ray of light for the ailing genre of guitar rock.

With 'Source Tags and Codes' they've expanded their sound, adding more light, shade and even strings to their amp-kicking fury. The album contains many of TOD's finest creations: the anything but languid 'Another Morning Stoner', the grit and grace of 'How Near How Far' and the Doors-flavoured 'Monsoon'. And even though their debt to Sonic Youth grows with interest, you feel that while the New York outfit have sometimes lost their way over the last few years, TOD are still moving closer to that perfect place.

The reason they're a ways off yet is not their music but its production, which often muddies the melodies and leaves the magic struggling to get out. But the rapid growth of these songs suggests the best is yet to come. When it does most of their peers should consider early retirement.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Invocation – It Was There That I Saw You – Another Morning Stoner – Baudelaire – Homage – How Near How Far – Heart in the Hand of the Matter – Monsoon – Days of Being Wild – Relative Ways – After the Laughter – Source Tags and Codes – Blood Rites

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