The 12-track set has been completed for some time but was bumped to 2005 to accommodate Interscope's crowded fall release slate.
Texas-based rock act ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead roars back Jan. 25 with its second Interscope album, "Worlds Apart." The 12-track set has been completed for some time but was bumped to 2005 to accommodate Interscope's crowded fall release slate. A commercial single is now available featuring the title cut and covers of Genesis' "Back in New York City" and the Monkees-popularized "Porpoise Song."
The set 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." "Worlds Apart" is the follow-up to 2002's "Source Tags & Codes," which peaked at No. 17 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 107,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"There are a lot of percussion layers and odd time signatures," group member Conrad Keely tells Billboard.com. "We were able to work with some string players to get the different parts. There's just a lot of texture." Extra experimentation in the studio came thanks to the presence of second drummer Doni Schroader. "He's been working on the record since day one, more or less, and he's playing live with us as well," Keely says.
One member who fans won't see on Trail Of Dead's fall tour is bassist Neil Busch, who plays on "Worlds Apart" but whose recent leave of absence from the band appears to be permanent. He has been replaced on stage by bassist Danny Wood.
"I don't think he's really wanting to do music right now," Keely says of Busch. "We're still friends, but with him not here, it's like, we have to move on. There's no looking back, really."
Keely says he's already pondering going right back into the recording studio once he completes the new album's elaborate artwork. "I felt like we've waited so long since the last release, and I don't want to do that again," he admits. "I have ideas and concepts. That's how this album started before it was any songs -- it was just an idea of where I wanted to go with the music. With the next album, I'm kind of thinking in those terms too -- a mental picture of where I want to go after having done this."