A Solid And Impressive Album
Lost Songs is the newest release from the complex and brilliant ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead, and you will not be left disappointed after checking it out. For those already aware of the musical style of this band they will know that it is actually pretty hard to describe. Whilst this album strips back a bit on the atmospheric and long proggy tracks that feature quite a lot throughout their discography this does not in any way harm the quality of the output. Instead, the fact that they have focused mainly on writing and recording more punk influenced, quick-tempo, and at times heavy, tunes (which frankly is what they're best at) has allowed this to become a really solid album. It is widely agreed that 2002's Sources, Tags & Codes is this band's finest work, but honestly Lost Songs comes close behind.
The album opens with the explosive Open Doors, starting with a rumble of noise before unleashing into the classic Trail Of The Dead sound. The pairing of this with Pinhole Cameras serves as a fantastic opening couple of tracks for the album and are definite high points. The album consistently delivers on great tracks as well, Opera Obscura is brilliantly aggressive and powerful, Flower Card Games is epic and beautiful and Awestruck is a gentle beast. The transition between these emotions and styles across the album instantly just makes it great, and with this being the 8th release in an extensive back catalogue that has included all sorts of EPs along the way, this is clearly a band very comfortable in their own ability. Whilst the power of the band ultimately comes from how intense and tight they play their music, a special mention should also go to the front-man, whose lyrics centring around war and tyranny stir up their own strong emotion and feeling. Up To Infinity in particular delivers a passionate attack against dictatorships and tyranny across the world, with the band themselves having been quoted in saying that the inspiration came from watching the events in Syria develop. The track was also used as a dedication to the now infamous Pussy Riot incident. My point here is, the band is not just throwing in politically relevant topics because it's fashionable, instead you get a real sense that the band are able to deliver a really passionate take on it.
So what we have here is a really good, solid album. The tracks already mentioned are definitely the high points on Lost Songs and there are some standard album fillers on here as well, but after the first listen, you will definitely want to re-listen to this again. As well as this, for new fans of the band (something I will admit is the case with myself) Lost Songs will really encourage you to immerse yourself in the Trail of the Dead's extensive discography. The core positive of this album is the fact that the band scaled it back down to the style of music which confirmed them as such a great band ten years ago.