... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

The Century of Self (Richter Scale/Justice)

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And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead performs on Monday, March 16, at 8 p.m., $18; 255-0333 or www.slims-sf.com.
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The past couple of years have been pretty crappy for Austin noisemakers ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The band lost its drummer, barely made it through a turbulent tour, and parted with the major label that has released its scruffy, art-damaged music since 2002. Regrouped and once again indie, Conrad Keely and Jason Reece turn their attention to the raw, jagged sound sculptures that launched their career. Most of the songs on The Century of Self, their sixth album, come off as throwbacks to a better time — say, 2002, when they made Source Tags & Codes, or even 2005, when they released Worlds Apart. Several tracks are conventional to a fault. "Luna Park" coasts alongside power-ballad territory, and "Pictures of an Only Child" wouldn't sound out of place slotted between Shinedown and Seether on one of those radio stations that still plays Shinedown and Seether. Still, the opening one-two punch of proggy instrumental "Giants Causeway" and the indie-rock guitar blasts of "Far Pavillions" let on that the band's snotty spirit is still there. You just have to dig it out under all the muck.

 
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