And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Secret of Elena’s Tomb EP
Interscope Records (2003)
By Graham Isaac
In the history of bands-with-extremely-long-names, I don’t know of any (with all due respect to The Presidents of the United States of America) as critically acclaimed as our cumbersomely-monikered friends at . . .And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Whether or not you buy some of the outrageous hyperbole lavished upon the band (I read one review of their last album that said it would “leave you changed”), they’re a band that deserves attention, simply because they A) rock the (art) house and B) aren’t steeped in retro-kitsch.
Unfortunately, Secret of Elena’s Tomb seems to be a rush job designed to keep kids from forgetting about the band (a lot has happened in rock since February 2002’s Source Tags and Codes.) Some of the feedback and noise from the band’s previous efforts have been strained away, leaving the strong-but-pretty melodies that were the core of Codes. They fiddle around with emo balladry to mixed effect on “Counting off the Days”– it’s a fine song, but this is not a direction I’d like to see them take.
Secret isn’t going to make anyone forget Codes, and may not hold the sonic revelations that past full-lengths have, but it contains five solid …And You Will Know… songs – I’d recommend it to any fan. – (7/10)