Being a fan of ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead since 2002 doesn't matter, their awesome live show normally ending in smashed instruments and broken hearts doesn't matter. The core of Trail Of Dead lies in their song writing. Their new record on Superball Music is different than their classic records like, "Madonna" and "Source Tags And Codes" but yet still the same.

... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead has mellowed out a bit on ,"IX" but not too much and in a way that helps you feel the hurt within Conrad Keely's voice and guitar playing. I always felt that Trail Of Dead was underrated and Im sure that this LP will go over a lot of peoples heads who turn to Alkaline Trio, Lucero or Elliot Smith for heartache. But in the indie circles of Austin Texas ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are Austin's instrument breaking sweethearts. "Jaded Apostles" is a track on ,"IX" that sticks out to me not just for its honesty, its a very dark song that hits home.

Sure this record isn't as energetic as "Madonna" or "Source Tags And Codes" but it has this mellow vibe that is relaxing and not at all as chaotic as their past recordings. "IX" is a pure example of a band growing up and not following trends. Im sure Trail Of Dead could've been a lot bigger than they ended up, but life is what happens while your making plans as Piebald once said. Having tasted the major record labels it wasn't that their music wasn't top notch it was just that people stopped paying attention after every Indie band looked the same and sounded the same. But Trail Of Dead kept releasing the music they wanted to make and I tip my hat to them because, "IX" is a brilliant record. Full with songs of hope and songs filled with despair. Each track flows beautifully, the violin on, "How To Avoid Huge Ships" put a shiver down my spine and a smile on my face.

If you are sick of the same old bands, I suggest you try something new and listen to the new ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead LP. Also if they play your town do not miss their live show, it is amazing and to me its where they shine as a band. If you want a louder Trail Of Dead check out their back catalog, but if you want a damn good record with just enough hooks, killer riffs, and an overall emotional experience I suggest picking up a copy of, "IX". You can almost envision the Texas landscape at witching hour after a long night of pounding back Lone Stars on, "Bus Lines". But "Lost In The Grand Scheme" has an awesome "Up In Them Guts" Planes Mistaken For Stars vibe to it and really helps round the record off towards the end of your auditory experience.