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Source Tags & Codes
by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Following the critical success of their 1999 effort, 'Madonna,' the lengthily-named Austin, Texas indie band signed with Interscope and recorded this, their major-label debut.
||26 February 2002
All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...
Their finest record to date and the most blistering, blissful album to be released by anyone in years.
Dense, beautiful, intricate, haunting, explosive, and dangerous, this is everything rock music aspires to be: intense, incredible songs arranged perfectly and performed with skill and passion.
Source Tags and Codes is phenomenal. It's one of those albums that starts the listener on a seeminlgly unsustainable high note, and uses that as a launching point.
What makes "Source Tags & Codes" such an amazing album is how the band teeters on the edge of this implosion but always yanks its songs back from collapse at the very last second.
Nude As The News
Throughout, Trail Of Dead make off like indie rock legends at the top of their game.
For all its gonzo, crackpot gestures, Source Tags & Codes is a remarkably coherent work. It stands as the most melodically-inclined album in their catalogue and boasts their strongest songwriting to date.
An album that absolutely cannot be ignored.
There are times when Conrad Keely's scabrous vocals are more grating than ingratiating, but this is mainly stunning stuff.
New Musical Express
'Source Tags And Codes' comes with an albatross-like weight of expectation round its skinny neck - yet happily, it's supported by a band who have grown to match it.
Another assault of angular, Sonic Youth-style guitar and earnest anger that's more leftfield than most punk, and more engaging than many of their post-rock peers. [Feb/Mar 2002, p.110]
Compared to so many noisemongers, TOD understand that restraint enables unleashed firepower to be exhilarating and awesome. [Apr 2002, p.111]
The Onion (A.V. Club)
The group plays imaginative alt-rock with intense passion, and Source Tags & Codes lets the pressure build exquisitely.
Sure, they make use of their obviously higher budget and Source Tags And Codes sounds more rich and layered because of it, but like Modest Mouse with The Moon And Antarctica, they've used these new elements to accent their music, not destroy it.
They don't make a better sound than your average bunch of Sonic Youth fanatics, but they make it feel better, make it seem more important, more romantic almost.
Not a crossover record, but invigorating. [Mar 2002, p.114]
At least it captures the fuzzy-math sound from too many gray-area indie bands--and it rocks hard where geezers like Mercury Rev just drift away.
The band's most obviously emo album to date. [Mar 2002, p.72]
...Trail of Dead have reached a point where the need for convention outweighs the joy of using guitars as weapons. [Feb 2002, p.104]
The average user rating for this album is 8.7 (out of 10) based on 56 User Votes
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