Jessie Ware’s had a mare…
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

One way or another, you probably know about …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – be that because you attended one of their incredible live shows around the time of 1999’s ‘Madonna’ LP, luxuriated in the lavish sounds of 2005’s critically divisive ‘Worlds Apart’ collection, or picked them up come 2011’s turbulent ‘Tao Of The Dead’. Personally, it’s ‘Source Tags & Codes’ from 2002 that’s the outstanding set of theirs to date – Clash highlighted it as one of the greatest-ever third albums back in 2009.

However you’ve heard the band before now, though, they’re about to scatter the senses all over again with ‘IX’ – yes, the band’s ninth album – which comes out on October 20th on the European side of the Atlantic, via Superball Music. Our American friends need to wait until November 11th to pick up a region-official copy. Here, bassist Autry Fulbright II takes time out from his …Trail Of Dead commitments to review this week’s new-release singles. Sorry it wasn’t a better batch for you, mister. Ahead of his words, here’s a …Trail Of Dead classic: ‘Mistakes And Regrets’, from ‘Madonna’.

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Kwabs – ‘Walk’

“Kwabs is very odd name for a project, and I think that raised my eyebrow slightly. I always have to really like the name of a musical project for it to pique my interest. That being said, this song is really indicative of the ‘alt-R&B’ sound. It starts very spare with piano and canned beats with a pretty positive sounding vocalist. He’s got a good voice, almost sounds processed, but maybe it’s just controlled. The whole song sounds controlled. It’s almost like Christian R&B with a little bit of guitars. It’s not for me, as it’s a little too safe sounding. I mean, naturally when you add too much ‘control’ to your ‘alt’ the next logical step is Delete. Sorry, Kwabs.”

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Alex Metric – ‘Heart Weighs A Ton’

“This song is boring dance music. It’s a crime against nature to make dance music so devoid of booty shaking quality. I’m no rock snob – I like to shake my big ol’ butt to all sorts of dancey tunes. This, however, sounds like what would be playing while I’m holding my girlfriend’s purse at the mall. Maybe that’s the point? I hope not. But, if your idea of a good time is waiting in line at Topshop, by all means, wait away.” 

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Peace – ‘Lost On Me’

“While I wouldn’t necessarily seek this out, it is pretty enjoyable, catchy dance rock. It’s slightly reminiscent of Jagwar Ma, only less psych-influenced. Will it change the world? No, but not every song has to. It’s harmless fun. Like robbing a bank while hopped up on goofballs. I bet these guys get hopped up on goofballs on the regular. It’s probably a big part of the creative process.”

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Jessie Ware – ‘Say You Love Me’

“…And we’re back to R&B-inflected pop. This kind of thing definitely has a formula that gets old quick. And the lyrics are overdone. There are enough songs that delve into this sonic and lyrical territory. No chances are being taken. This turns young girls into old women. This sounds like something that would be given as a free sample at Starbucks. My mother, who is an upstanding Christian woman in her 50s, would probably be like: ‘What the f*ck is this bullshit? I need some Whitney Houston just to cleanse my palate.’ Then she’d get sad about Whitney Houston. Poor mom. Poor Whitney. Poor anyone that has to listen to this song. I’d rather listen to Kim Kardashian farting into a megaphone.” 

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Philip Selway – ‘It Will End In Tears’

“This is good. Orchestral sad rock. Has a Pink Floyd meets Spiritualized vibe. Very pleasing. The lyrics, ‘It will end in tears, but I won’t be sorry,’ get me right in the feelings-maker. This may not be everyday listening, as it is a bit sad, but it’s a great, grandiose song. This is how you tackle the subject of lost love.”

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Ezra Vine – ‘Celeste’

“This isn’t indie rock, this is N.D. rock – as in ‘non-descript’, as in ‘not daring’. You’ve heard this before. This band is playing right now in a bar near you. This band is playing at 2pm at every music festival. At least four versions of this band are in your music collection, and you haven’t listened to them in ages. This band was the soundtrack to someone getting your cafe order wrong. There’s not much use listening to this when you already have it, many times over. Standard mid-to-late 2000s college rock. To paraphrase the great John Waters, ‘If you go home with someone and this song is in their music collection, don't f*ck them.’” 

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Words: Autry Fulbright II
Photo: Courtney Chavanell

Find …Trail Of Dead online here. See them live as follows:

14th – School of Art, Glasgow
15th – Kasbah, Coventry
16th – Ruby Lounge, Manchester
17th – Dingwalls, London

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