Trail of Dead (aka …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) scored an instant classic with their first full-length for Interscope Records (and third overall), 2002’s Source Tags & Codes. Their first of three for the label, Source Tags & Codes is widely considered the band’s most accomplished, and critically honored effort, and is number 1 in my “next to spin” pile (followed by The Million Dollar Quartet and Kiss Your Ass Goodbye! by Blue Meanies). Although I’m partial to So Divided, the band’s fifth album, Source Tags shows what an already talented band can do, given respect, and major label luxuries. Give it whirl.
Question: What do you get when you mix deadlocked precision (executed perfectly within a tightly-wound hardcore package) and the vocal talents of the guy recently deemed the greatest living singer of all time? Answer: Irony Is a Dead Scene.
Although not casual listening material for that Sunday drive with the kids, The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton assassinate any and every breathing organism in their vigorous wake over these four fits of ferocious fury. What’s disappointing, however, is the unfortunate length of this EP. Clocking in at only 18 minutes, Irony Is a Dead Scene leaves the listener sprawled out on the floor, desperately pleading for more. This is a perfect album from every approachable angle.
It’s without proper and respectful merit that Har Mar Superstar’s 2nd full length, You Can Feel Me, doesn’t have a proper vinyl release. Power Lunch and EZ Pass did, however, graduate to the respectful spin, but the full-length has yet to rear its prominent head. I demand this album on vinyl… others… make it so!
Come With Us is an explosion of heart-stopping, blood-bursting, mind-altering dance music even your mom can get behind. No prescription is needed to ride this 2002 rager. Part submerged sonar ping, part stress-inducing orchestral outbreak, this three-track single is a marathon run at sprinting speeds where sweat falls to the ground with impeccable rhythm.
I have yet to hear a Chem Bros track that I didn’t fall in love with. They’re much like Creedence in that regard. It is a personal goal (quite easily an obsession) to own every record The Chemical Brothers ever released. This, like any and every other Chem Bros release comes deeply recommended.
It may have began in Afrika for the rest of the civilized world (as well as the uncivilized… I’m looking at you, Oxnard, CA), but for Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, the foundations of Big-Beat-Funk were forged in the furious fires that first began in Manchester, England.
It Began in Afrika was the first single off 2002’s Come With Us, and peaked at number 8 in the UK. An exclusive, DJ only version of the track was released as Electronic Battle Weapon 5 (part of the 2nd disc offered in 2008’s compilation, Brotherhood) in June of 2001, before it was reworked for a wider audience on this official release with the more identifiable title change.
A sticker on the front sleeve lists the b-side, Hot Acid Rhythm 1, as a track to be offered from their forthcoming album, out in 2002. Hot Acid Rhythm 1 does not, however, show up on Come With Us, and as far as I can tell, only exists on this single.
It’s nearly impossible to wrap my head around how profound the “throw away” tracks are in the vast, blood-boiling, beat banging, Chem Bros catalog. Literally EVERYTHING they release is top shelf ear stimulants, and as always, comes housed in digable and displayable cover art.