Posted on: June 22, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Trail of Dead – So Divided / 2006 Interscope / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 21 June 2007

I still remember reviewing Trail of Dead a number of years ago for the campus radio station. They were a pretty impressive band back then, and I’m glad I have the chance to see how they have grown since then. The first actual track on “So Divided” is “Stand in Silence”, and the beginning of the track reminds me of the first time that the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show.

This is only a fleeting feeling, as the band moves into a earlier Weezer meets Green Day type of sound for the rest of the track. There seems to be an additional bit of fuzz present during the track that really does not do anything for the band, but the track is strong enough to stand despite that. The band does not sit on their laurels, even in the context of a single song. The latter half of “Stand in Silence” is much more orchestral, as if the part of the song was ending a theme album. The closest approximation to what Trail of Dead does on this track has to be what the Polyphonic Spree did in their flowing-gowns era. With the tracks that are on “So Divided”, it seems more and more as if Trail of Dead are trying to make an overall effort rather than a disc of singles. There is a much more tribal meets Police sound that is crafted for the opening strains of “Wasted State of Mind”, and it does not seem to have much directly in common with ‘Stand in Silence”.

However, the indie trappings of the band are nearly the same, and one can see these early efforts on “So Divided” as building a foundation with which the band can build further on later tracks. Regardless ofwhat the band is trying to do on the tracks of “So Divided”, the full sound of the band puts many other indie and alternative bands to shame. Take a track like the aforementioned “Wasted State of Mind”. There are literally seven or eight different layers all working at the same time, working in tandem to make a complete track that like Thanksgiving dinner, will stuff listeners. Trail of Dead have cleaned up their sound since the last time I heard them, and make a solid album that will have individuals singing along for months after listening to it, even for the first time. Pick up this album and pop in “Naked Sun”; you will be a fan.

Top Tracks: Naked Sun, Life

Rating: 7.0/10

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