Release Date: Nov 14, 2006
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
What's in a name? Well, in the case of ... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, not much at all. To the uninitiated the group sound like every Daily Mail reader's worst fears bundled together in one kid-corrupting package. Yet in reality the Austin-based group are about as terrifying as an asthmatic gerbil wearing a naff Halloween costume made by its mum.
Disappointed by the less-than-strong sales of their previous album, Worlds Apart, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead almost called it quits. Instead, they rebounded by entering the studio for what they intended to be a quick EP, which blossomed into their fifth full-length, So Divided. Worlds Apart was an intensive labor of love that sometimes crossed the line between ambitious and overwrought, but the frustration that fueled this album also gives it focus and vitality.
With an ominous summoning of the bells, ceremonial breaking of bread, and talk of Michelangelo, … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead declare the noble intension of their fifth LP through "A Song of Fire and Wine." So Divided attempts to unify the Austin outfit's operatic songcraft with the urgency of their "Days of Being Wild" to unlock 2003's The Secret of Elena's Tomb EP and overcome the trappings of the previous year's brilliant Source Tags and Codes, from which those days sprung. This rollicking push and pull of art and anguish, tension and release amplifies the disillusionment of opener "Stand in Silence," in which Conrad Keely cries out over an apocalyptic barrage of riffs, "I had a band, had a song. I had a vision.