Thursday, August 25, 2011

...And I Will Know Them By The Trail Of Awesome

In 2002 I remember seeing the Source Tags and Codes poster in the window of  Minneapolis stalwart Let It Be Records, thinking that they had stumbled upon the coolest band name ever.  I didn't listen to them for four solid years.  Then in 2006 I think I must have been casting about LimeWire (Ha!  Remember them?) looking for some fresh death metal treats for my ears when I remembered seeing their poster.  Sounds like a name for a metal band. 

"I wonder what they sound like..."

What indeed.  That year I downloaded and voraciously annihilated every single song I could find by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.  I was almost immediately deeply in love, and fed often.  I wish I could explain my instant and overwhelming fascination with this band.  It's something nearly intangible, like a flash of memory resurrected by the burnt smell of late October. 

Then I dropped them like nothing had happened.  I think I had moved on to tackle -- of all things -- baroque music, and political podcasts were taking up a bigger and bigger slice of my audio diet.  Once I suck a band dry of all their genius, I tend not to go back for seconds. 

But for whatever reason I felt compelled to unearth all of my Trail of Dead MP3s this summer.  I found that some had aged a bit better than others, but the standout was obvious.  Clearly my favorite album of theirs is still Source Tags and Codes, just as it was in 2006 when I could not stop listening to them.  The album finishes strong with one of the most ingeniously written and performed songs I've ever heard...

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags and Codes

This is actually my favorite song of their entire corpus.  It blows my face right off every single time I listen to it, and it refuses to age in my mind like some demented vampire or stone statue. 

I'd be hard pressed to not include this song in a list of my top five all-time favorites. 

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