… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead loves them some prog rock, and at times, that influence has bogged down their albums. 2011’s Tao of the Dead was split into two parts, the second a 16-minute, single track epic. I can’t say the album left much of an impression with me.
Lost Songs, by contrast, scales back those bigger gesture to offer perhaps the most straight-forward — and fastest — … Trail of Dead album in their discography.
“Open Doors” opens with the band’s usual typhoon of guitars, but it’s on the second track, “Pinhole Cameras”, where the album takes off.
If anything, the tracks from that point onward have one tempo marking — fast as fuck. It’s not till half way through the album does the pace gets ratcheted down.
“Up to Infinity” and “Pinhole Cameras” have all the familiar … Trail of Dead tricks — breaks in the middle of song, Conrad Keely and Jason Reece doing their best to bust the heads of the vocal mics, and guitars. Lots and lots of guitars.
This time, the mid-song breaks aren’t the vast, meandering detours of the past and in fact, provide a nice reprieve from all the intensity.
The songwriting on Lost Songs is some of the focused the band has produced since Madonna or Source Code and Tags. I’d probably go as far to say the DNA of “Mistakes and Regrets” found its way into every track on the album.
I do have to confess that I don’t have much of a connection to prog rock itself, so when … Trail of Dead reign in those tendencies, I find myself enjoying their albums a lot more. And I enjoyed Lost Songs quite a lot.