Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Heart's Gone The Color of Coca-Cola

There's been a spat of activity over at the Red Skull blog lately, two new posts from Marco, one new one from me.

I've been going back and listening to some of the music from the turn of the century that I absolutely loved to see if they still stick. Four albums in particular have stayed in basic rotation for the past eight years, (in order of most played) Queens Of The Stone Age R, Mclusky Do Dallas, At The Drive-In Relationship of Command, and ...Trail Of Dead Source Tags & Codes. These four were in constant rotation in my CD walkman when they came out. The Queens album has aged the best, I think, mainly because it's a timeless album. I can see myself driving kids to the museum or the baseball fields whichever they end up choosing, listening to R and skipping over "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer". They may never again reach the heights they achieved here and on Songs For The Deaf, but as long as I have those two albums, I'll be all right.

I went on at length about Do Dallas over at The Red Skull. Relationship of Command has lost some of it's sheen to me only because of how the members of this amazing band completely dropped the ball once they split up. Sparta ended up being real boring, and The Mars Volta, well, I can only listen to one of their albums every three years. They aimed for outerspace and landed on some over the top planet where Rush fans live. The tension between the two creative forces in the band, the post-punk and the weird outerspace music is what made At The Drive-In so compelling. And listening to this album again, it's as exciting as it was listening to it in Derrick's truck as he unexpectedly drove us into a field where the Target in Wake Forest would later be, the high grass hiding the large gashes in the dirt beneath us. Putting us on two or one wheel(s) at a time.

I have a feeling that Source Tags & Codes will end up as one of the best albums of this decade, it's a perfect statement from a band whose ambitions would soon outweigh their abilities. After this album And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead collapsed under their own momentum. Poised to be a Sonic Youth for the new millennium (there's a phrase I haven't used in a while), Trail of The Dead lost the reigns. I hold out hope with every new album they put out, but I think all is lost for these guys. It's a shame, too. It's interesting listening to this album now and seeing it as the most influential album of the lot. Trail Of Dead's sweep and scope informed the Arcade Fire and numerous other bands of the moment.

While I was writing this, I noticed that each of these bands has ended up disappointing me in the long run, Era Vulgaris was a half baked attempt at regaining their fun side which QOSTA abandoned for the interesting Lullabies To Paralyze. Mclusky broke up, and I haven't heard anything from their new band Future Of The Left yet. At The Drive-In broke up and followed their respective muses to less interesting ends. And Trail Of Dead, well, they made one perfect album.

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