Yesterday’s run was just for shits n’ giggles for 30 minutes of not breathing stale farts so today’s run needs to accomplish something, specifically tempo. However, the roads are still shitty slippery out so instead of running outside I’m taking it to the ‘ol dreadmill with the ‘So Divided‘ album by ..And They Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.
Released in 2006, this is the band’s 5th, and arguably most commercial album, which may explain why it was also their worst selling and least popular. In interviews however, Keely still claims that’s it a favorite, and the only album of theirs that he listens to on occasion, citing as a reason that when he hears it he can pretend that each song is actually some other band.
In terms of overall band moral, this record represents a low point in the band’s career, much of which is reflected in the lyrics to the album, partly due to several mediocre tours they were forced to endure, as well as a sense of sagging enthusiasm for rock music at the record label (Keely worked on the art for the album for three weeks at the Interscope office in Manhattan, during which time he claims to have not once heard a single rock album being played, but instead only pop, hip hop and rap – which they referred to as “urban music”).
Although initially the band did not take the recording or composition very seriously, by the end they had invested so much into the production that the mixing sessions (done at the Interscope offices in Los Angeles, in a studio built by Dr. Dre) were meticulously pained over.
These 11 tunes, even if the layered harmonies, blithe melodies, and textured hooks of numbers like the gig-gone-wrong tale ‘Eight Days of Hell‘ owe as much to the Beatles as to the Beach Boys. The lyrics remain as opaque and allusive – of personal trauma, cultural unease, assertive rebirth, and disconnection – as they were in the days The Trail of Dead were known for literally shedding blood on stage during savage performances.
Nothing else to say that I got ‘er done and GAWD I hate treadmills.