The travel guides have finally smiled on me after having to endure two Trump morons and a bucket of fried chicken for the past three hours with a vacant seat beside me on the final flight on my journey home. It’s only a 40 minute or so flight and it just so happens I have a 35 minute Texas-inspired album to fill that void successfully: the self-title debut album by …And They Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.
Originally hailing from Austin, Texas, the chief members of the band are Jason Reece and Conrad Keely. The two actually switch between drumming, guitar and lead vocals, both on recordings and live shows. According to the band’s website, their name is taken from an ancient Mayan ritual chant, which shows a striking similarity to an ancient Egyptian chant. This explanation, however, is said to be merely an ongoing joke.
Released in 1998 on Trance Syndicate records, the album vies for that piece of scarred, post-punk real estate somewhere between The Who and chucking a whirring blender full of bolts straight into a jet engine. So if something happens to this flight somewhere over the mid-North, you’ll know why.
There is definitely lots of Sonic Youth inspired distortion and white fuzz noisescapes to keep one on the edge of their seat, specifically ‘A Gargoyle Waiting‘ and ‘Prince With a Thousand Enemies‘ which are the albums stand out. Then there’s ‘Novena Without Faith‘ that proves just how many gears of the rock machine these guys have mastered with a mellow, yet driving, dreamy quality…it’s right out of ‘Bad Moon Rising‘.
I will definitely be listening to more of this band on future trips, or maybe my inspired fartlek runs for sure!