And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead LIVE review



Music Reviews
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead LIVE review
By
Dec 13, 2006, 14:57

photo by Sabine © 2006

AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD / BLOOD BROTHERS /  CELEBRATION / BROTHERS AND SISTERS at The Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles, CA; November 30, 2006

One thing that Austin, TX's And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead excel at is the intensity and variety they dedicate to their audience. No wonder legions of dedicated mall-punk Hollywood hipster kids paraded in all-throughout the night to form a mass a few hundred deep at the foot of the stage at the Henry Fonda Theater.

While their music comes off at times as if they are trying to hide the relatively simple structure of their songs with grandiose flourishes, …Trail of Dead have a visceral appeal to their stripped down and raw production that gives them ammunition where they lack musical strength. I appreciated the singular and honest rawness of their staging, where techs worked in the back, open and exposed, bathed in a static bath of color, while the band plowed through their set with an almost naked intensity. In fact, their no-frills approach as they delivered teen-anthems like “Wasted State of Mind,” “Eight Days of Hell” and “Aged Dolls” only heightened the effect. The highlight of the night came with the songs that the band shared the stage with Will and Lily Courtney, the brother and sister of Brother and Sisters, the first opener of the night. Their backing vocals elevated with grace and conviction the overwrought chorus of “Wasted State of Mind.”

The problem with some of the …Trail of Dead is that much of the material can come off sounding slightly dated (read: well worn 90s emo), and the bombastic delivery of their visceral assault seems to couch nothing: the phrase “full of fury, signifying nothing” comes to mind. The conviction the band plays makes up for that, but it seems only ever to reach a limited fan base.

The set list: Mistakes and Regrets Relative Ways Wasted State of Mind Eight Days of Hell Days of Being Wild Caterwaul Aged Dolls A Perfect Teen hood Another Morning Stoner Totally Natural

The highpoint of the night came early, and only a handful of people were there to witness the opening set by another Austin band, Brothers and Sisters. With their own brand of glam-country, folk-rock, Brothers and Sisters have their finger on a sound that is at times lush and lilting, but which packs the punch of Neil Young, or oddly enough, Cracker. Characterized by a bright but intricate wall of sound/guitar glitter, Brothers and Sisters delivered a solid set packed with bright melodies and solid singing. And no easy feat, their seven piece band grooved delicately, carefully navigating the fine line between intensity and grace.

-Paul Matthew


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