Tuesday, 5 October 2010

'Is there a heart beating? Is it just emptiness?' by @diaryofaledger

...And You Shall Know Know Us By The Trail Of Dead came recommended by the boyfriend of a colleague back in London days.  Their second album, Madonna' had just been released and I was assured that it was right up my street.  So I bought it (imagine that) and initially I was nonplussed.  But I stuck at it.  And now it's one of my favourite albums.

It's a noise fest.  Fast too, interspersed with moments of gentle broken sounding guitars.  The lyrics reek of dark intelligence being screamed at the top of Jason Reece and Conrad Keeley's lungs.

Sure this is all self loathing teen angst but this isn't The Used or Fall Out Boy, all dressed up in trad rock with some faux emotion, this is so raw and ugly that it all rings true.

Everything sounds slightly wrong.  Thrown together, lyrics all over the place, guitars coming in off of the rhythm.  It's an album that takes some effort, but you get the feeling that Trail of Dead weren't really interested in pandering to anyone with this.  But that's precisely why I love it.

It does quiet loud, but not in that traditional, here's two noisy bits, now some quiet, BANG.  It's more here's some loud, here's some teeny teeny bits of quiet, more loud, song ends.  At times there's almost no melody at all, but it is there, lurking, whilst being hit with a large stick and shouted at to stay in the background.  Finding the melody is part of the joy of Madonna as an album.

Remember when you were young and went to see a band made of school mates in a bar who'd just started writing their own stuff.  This is the best of all those bands, stuck together and melted down, poured out into a garage somewhere in Austin, Texas and made to make a record.

If you love your rock off kilter, get this.

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