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Trail Of Dead

'Worlds' Collide

TrailTexas-based rock act ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead roars back this week with its second Interscope album, "Worlds Apart." The 12-track set is the follow-up to 2002's acclaimed "Source Tags & Codes," which peaked at No. 17 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

The album begins with the nearly seven-minute "Will You Smile Again for Me?," a recent live favorite driven by a punishing riff in 5/4 time. Over the course of the disc, the group offers up another helping of relentlessly adventurous modern rock, laced with peculiar segues, laughing children, ambient noise and a classical-tinged interlude by violinist Hillary Hahn, who performed on the score for the hit summer film "The Village."

Trail Of Dead seems to simultaneously beckon and bemoan the mainstream on the title cut, which balances irony-free social commentary ("Random lost souls have asked me / 'What's the future of rock'n'roll?' / I say, 'I don't know. Does it matter?') with one of the most straightforward, catchy hooks the band has yet crafted.

Other highlights include the Hawaii-themed closer "The Lost City of Refuge" and the major-key rock march "And the Rest Will Follow."

"We didn't really rehearse the songs over and over again to get them prepared," group member Conrad Keely says. "We wanted to do this a little more organically and come in and build them in the studio. Doing it this way, you don't get the red light syndrome where time is money. We can stretch out and be a little more creative and try out as many ideas as we want."