Song of the Day: …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Doomsday Book

Song of the Day
12/04/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Courtney Chavanell

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “The Doomsday Book” by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead from the 2014 album IX on Richter Scale/Superball Music.

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Doomsday Book (MP3)

The 20+ year career of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is just as tumultuous and unpredictable as their cataclysmic mixture of punk and prog rock. Led by co-frontmen/multi-instrumentalists Conrad Keely and Jason Reece, Trail of Dead was formed in Austin in 1994, quickly establishing a reputation for being a noisy, frenetic live act and with the release of 1999's Madonna, critical darlings as well. After signing to Interscope, the group released 2002's widely acclaimed Source Tags and Codes and spent the next year on the road as part of an infamously combustive tour behind the album. A pair of poorly-received and commercially unsuccessful albums led the band to leave Interscope and since 2011, Reece and Keely have stayed independent and reconfigured the band as a quartet with bassist Autry Fulbright II and drummer Jamie Miller.

The band's latest album, IX, is named for a planet in Frank Herbert's Dune (and is, perhaps not coincidentally, their ninth album) and continues the band's recent trend of returning to the shifting dynamics and slash-and-burn guitars that they made their name on. IX's opening track, "The Doomsday Book" opens with a pace so tense that it feels like the band is outrunning the apocalypse itself. Reese's vocals strain and snarl across a rumbling beat and jagged guitar chords as part of a tension that never lets up until the song's end, promptly leading into the album's next song. "The Doomsday Book" is certainly powered by chaos, but like all of the band's best work, it sounds like they're the ones creating, not reacting to, the fire.

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead will resume touring in the new year, so keep an eye on their Facebook and website for any news on shows or tour dates. Below, watch the band play a stripped-down version of "Luna Park" live on KEXP in 2009:

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