Trail of Dead – early years …Are they Tao?

TOD performing “The Rest Will Follow” on the David Letterman Show.

SINGLE REVIEW: The Trail of Dead have jumped labels more than any band I’ve ever tracked with each release and quite consistently. Competing with the Poster Children and a few others with a decent stint on a major label ok maybe not as many as the pkids. Their upcoming release is going to be on their own label – Richter Scale Records. Never had the pleasure of meeting …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (at least not yet) and or since i knew about their sonic existence (thank you Benny of the Highway) they have been one of my favorite heavy and noisy bands of all time. Well at least since 2001.  Everything is really fuzzy before that. Conrad and the boys have persistently managed to bake in all the right elements of guitar swagger, big dumb drums and vocal angst. Giving you this huge soundscape of music. I can hear why Hemispheres was influence on this one with SIDE 1 and Side 2 of continuous music. I can’t wait for Tao of the Dead all to obvious album title. I’m still a devoted fan of their music> Their notereity will be there in a black flag kind of way with many a splinter and broken drum set in their path.  The pre-release of Summer of Dead souls track is exactly what you can expect. Check it out on  I encourage you to go to town if you dig these tracks and get the whole discography or at least parts of it. The new track is great. Feels right and the good payout is that they did not belabor the output. Less vanilla more rock. How’s that for a short review?

Sample some shit:
Gargoyle Waiting from S/T …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (1998) Trance Syndicate Records

Totally Natural from Madonna (1999) Merge Records. Totally out of character for the bands that were on merge at the time but damn wouldn’t it be funny if they returned like spoon did?

Another Morning Stoner from Source Codes & Tags (2002) Interscope. This is the record that put them on the map blah blah blah. Dude the cool kids picked them up.

Heavy Night Terror dreams by Helms Alee

Heavy Night Terror dreams by Helms Alee

ALBUM REVIEW: Helms Alee Night Terror. I love heavy music that fills space like the absence of white that fills the nights sky between the stars. Sure I’m totally catching up to this band thru the interwebs but whatever. Hoz, Dana & Ben bring it on this one all the way through. If you dig later era neurosis, trail of dead and hum those would be good starting points to this brand of rocket ship guitar blasting of this co-fronted trio. The distorted bass parts are godfleshy which brings to mind old local New Brunswick faves Transylvia who were the indie rock version of Ministry. See where this going? The track “Big Spider” in particular has that twisted gated sound that if I told you it was Pigface you’d be none the wiser.

Night Terror although less gothic in its presentation thisrecord is more indie nue-metal I suppose. Ok and maybe no crazy double kick-drum or blood pellets but it’s more about the razor like guitars feeding back and female vocals that drive the temptress like mini mosh-parts to some sonic depth that makes my ears perk up and pay attention when it comes. You will bang your head while arms folded and be consumed by the noise. Promise once you unfold your appendages you’ll be glad you stopped letting your knuckles drag on the floor and will raise up the devil sign in honorary approval.

Left Handy Man Handle from Night Terror [ Buy it ] Instru-metal thrashing with a Don Caballero guitarscape is surely a great jam to open up a record with and that they did.
Big Spider

Bonus tracks:
Lionize from Helms Alee digital 7″ – They could have been on a Amphetamine Reptile comp and you would be non the wiser in 1993.
dogsbody corpsegas by Transilvia off of Slugchuckles Insanely. This is the shit bad dreams and good acid are made of.
The Missing by Ministry off of Land Of Rape and Honey. The more well known track is the opening track Stigmata but you can go buy that.

Also, check out this FREE band compilation In Case of Evacuation presented by Exploding In Sound with a Helms Alee track “New Roll” from their NT plus other like minded ear candy which came out this past June. There is something here for everyone but here are a couple heavyish ones:
Good to Die (mp3) by Red Fang channels Judiest Priest dueling guitar solos.
I Should Be Coming Up (But I Keep Coming Down) by Sky parade. its what kids are dancing to these days disco rock like New Order but much less bass melodic. Good song though.