Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Fleece & Firkin, Bristol

Following a minor diversion back in Texas that may lead to the boys being better known by their trail of rednecks, the …Trail Of Dead are on a mission. That mission is to fuck shit up by embarking on a tour of duty; destruction and trouble making that will leave many of their contemporaries looking like limp-wristed acoustic guitar-hugging lightweights.

While there may well be a scarcity of recognisable tunes or melody on display here, what the …Trail Of Dead lack in subtlety they more than make up for in pure rock n’ roll exuberance. In their singer, and part-time drummer, Conrad Keely, they possess a true star, a man determined to play the game like a good ’un, whether that involves throwing himself around on top of the amps, or spouting random shit at the audience as Jason Reece looks on, unconvinced by his admissions, “I want to finish telling them my thought. I’ve not taken any ketamine tonight”.

Whatever he says, every Trail of Dead song seems to have been raised on adrenaline and force-fed amphetamines from an early age. They rush past like a barrage of white-noise terrorism, as ‘Mistakes And Regrets’ pile-drives into ‘Prince With A Thousand Enemies’, before ‘Totally Natural’ finds itself rudely usurped by ‘Richter Scale Madness’. Often the only distinction between songs is who’s singing and who’s behind the drum kit, as Conrad and Jason routinely switch places, each eager for the opportunity to exact more abuse on a different instrument.

As ‘A Perfect Teenhood’ nears it’s tumultuous climax, the whole-scale trashing of equipment begins with an impetuous vigour, though it appears the men in black and blue are a little fussy about who gets to touch their gear. An overly enthusiastic onlooker mistakenly decides to save bassist Neil Busch the trouble of pushing over his own amp, and swiftly finds himself on the painful end of a pair of the finest Texan boots, as drums and guitars crash to the stage all around him. No matter how clichéd it may all sound, the …Trail Of Dead are here to save rock n’ roll, so you may as well stick around to watch the spectacle unfold.