Nothing good comes out of Texas; that’s what my dad used to say. Strike that. Some good things come out of Texas. Young, indie, hardcore rockers . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead is one of them.
The Austin, Texas quadruplet ruled the stage at the 9:30 Club Aug. 30, after headliners Queens of the Stone Age postponed their appearance.
Bassist Neil Busch welcomed the diverse and rowdy crowd to “the show that wasn’t meant to be” before Trail of Dead invoked their remarkable live intensity, coupling with the intricate rhythms of their music.
Formed in 1994, Trail of Dead consists of Busch, guitarists Kevin Allen and Conrad Keely and drummer Jason Reece. Keely and Reece also share the duties of lead vocals and drums. The band’s third LP Source Tags and Codes sounds like it was born in the depths of a primordial ooze of blood and metal.
Just don’t call them emo. “We’re about as emo as your mama!” Reece told MTV news in March. While Trail of Dead prefers not to be classified, their performance style is reminiscent of bands like The Who, Nirvana and newcomers The Vines.
If you are brave enough for the front when Trail of Dead return to D.C. Tuesday, you will experience up close one of the premiere newcomers to rock music.
Sure there was stage diving and a circling mosh pit, but the biggest draw of the concert was the band itself. The guys exude a profound coolness that says, “we know we’re good, and we’re here to stay.” Call it cockiness, but it works for them, and besides, you have to be confident to have a name as difficult to relay as And They Will Know Us by the Trail of Our Dead.
This article appeared in the September 5, 2002 issue of the Hatchet.