So Divided (Interscope)

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead 

So Divided (Interscope)

Poor Conrad Keely -- no one seems to understand the Trail of Dead frontman. The chorus he leads on "Wasted State of Mind," from the Austin prog-punkers' new disc, exemplifies Keely's anguish: "Caught in a stasis, feels like I've wasted all this time/With people and places who've never related or desired." But more often than not, Keely's profundity feels more like bloated excess. So Divided is loaded with corpulent puffery: the intro track full of cacophonous cocktail chatter, the white-noise segue that escaped the cutting-room floor ("In the Realms of the Unreal"), and a painfully forced symphonic interlude, the gagging "Stand in Silence." The group even does a campy cover of Guided by Voices' "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory." But none of the pretentious transgressions eclipse the brilliant "Naked Sun," a clenched fist ready to punch, or the title track, where patience pays off with the riveting syncopation of two drummers. And one mustn't forget the oddities: the cheery, psychedelic sing-along "Eight Day Hell" or "Sunken Dreams," a new-wave concoction evocative of the Cult. Overall, it's another triumph for Trail of Dead, even if Keely's always auditioning for the role of misunderstood genius.

Latest in CD Reviews

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

From the Archives

  • The Rapture

    Pieces of the People We Love (Universal)
    • Oct 11, 2006
  • Tom Waits

    Orphans (Anti-)
    • Nov 15, 2006
  • More »

Site Search

Facebook Activity

© 2014 Cleveland Scene: 1468 West Ninth Street, Suite 805, Cleveland, OH 44113, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation