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…AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD – “The Ghost Within” video

...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD

That towering climax serves as the launch-pad into IX’s more epically scaled home stretch, with Reece’s jugular-bulging “Lost in the Grand Scheme” reverting to Trail of Dead’s familiar pattern of firing up, flaming out, and rekindling for an even bigger bang. But the closing “Sound of the Silk” proves a more slippery beast than its sunrise-summoning psych-pop initially suggests, leading us through a drum-circle breakdown and spoken-word change-up en route to a fierce finale that sees Keely and Reece locking into a call-and-response clamor. In essence, the song is Trail of Dead’s entire discography condensed into an “in case you missed it” highlight reel of paisley-patterned melody, jammed-out indulgence, and steroid-pumped punk. While the band may have struggled in the past to reconcile their post-hardcore roots with their art-rock ambitions, more often than not, IX marks the spot. / Pitchfork

TOD are, miraculously given their longevity, still managing to remain interesting. In their full, marauding flight, they are still splendid to experience at high volume. Any loftiness they previously displayed (genre experiments have surely hit their post-Interscope sales hard and perhaps led to them filling the Electric Ballroom rather than the Roundhouse) has been gradually reined in over their last three albums, leaving them in this late-period state of balance. The band are yet to find their Götterdämmerung, but they are at least amiably smashing up everything on their path to doing so. IX proves that there’s still a huge desire to unshackle themselves from musical formality, to fully embrace whimsy, but something isn’t quite letting them do it. That’s the tension that drives the whole record, and also what makes them fundamentally incapable of becoming that Normal Rock Band. Long may their journey remain incomplete. / The Quietus

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