Classic Album Review :: & You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead — Source Tags & Codes

I fought with myself for a time about which one of the 10+ albums to write about. Minus one album, I fucking love everything this band has released, and the one album is not bad. It just doesn’t hold a candle to everything else this band has done. So, I thought I’d write about the first album that I picked up from this band. Unrelated, but this also stands as my favourite from this band.

On top of having the longest name of any band I revisit on a regular basis, & You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead (from here on referred to as Trail of Dead) is one of the most reliable bands that I have ever come across. They brilliantly fuse punk and folk, without sounding too pirate based. Somehow, their recording tone is always huge — larger than life, really.

For just being three main musicians on the recording, it’s a bit amazing. Yes, this album boasts having over 13 musicians in the studio, but the band was only a 3-piece at the time. And, regardless of how many people were in the studio: the drums are what make everything so bombastic. The kick drum in particular permeates every noise layered over it- almost like it is defying anything to try to drown it out.

Guitars are a beautiful drone. Yes, there are probably many layers of distortion and lead riffs, but they are used to create a beautiful miasma that guide the orchestrations from part to part. “How Near How Far” is a brilliant demonstration of this. Though the bass slides up and down the scales, and the guitars jingle through several notes, it creates this level of noise. Yes, there is definition. You need to find it, however. Rarely does an album challenge the listener this much to realize just how beautiful it is.

Now, when I saw challenge the listener, I am not saying that it is off-putting or not pleasant. I am simply pointing out how from afar it seems like a simple pop-rock album with strained vocals. It’s when you sit down and listen deeper that you notice the nuance and complexity that comes with this recording.

Second favourite opening for an album ever, by the way. The only album that takes it over is the album So Divided that Trail of Dead released 4 years later. The intro track is only 1:29, but it complexly disarms the listener before the chaos starts. If you wanted to discredit that track as the intro, the first song (It Was There That I Saw You) kicks the listener in the face right away. It is nothing short of an assault on the senses. As hard as it kicks in, the song moves into a lull by the 1:00 mark. It is an amazing piece, the the song as a whole has an almost classical orchestration.

I could gush over every song individually, but I should really think about wrapping this piece up. My end thoughts on this recommendation are as follows: if you know the band, this album is nowhere near surprising. If you don’t already have it, I question your taste in music. If you DO NOT know this band, do yourself the greatest favour ever and listen through this masterpiece.

Also, you’re welcome.

HEY! Did you know that I have released a book?

It’s a reedit of You’re Not Dead with a bunch of other short stories all wrapped up. The length has ballooned out to a nice 205 pages. It’s really inexpensive, and available most places that you would order a book from! Links here, but let me know if you find more and I will update accordingly!

Torn

I have two pieces broken into pieces that just need to be organized. Both projects are about music, because of course they are. Both pieces I think are very important because the stories around each of the bands is strangely satisfying.

Band one is the good ol’ Canadian group Alexisonfire. I love this band, and I think they have done so much for music as a whole. Not to mention that they solidified genres, inspired millions, and created (arguably) one of the biggest acoustic acts in Canada to ever exist.

Band two is …And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead. Not only does the band have one of the greatest names of all time, they have 25 years of history, released two of my favourite albums, and are just amazing through and through. Also, Wasted State Of Mind is quite possibly one of the greatest songs ever recorded. PLUS they just announced a new album recently. I cannot say that I’m too excited about that, seeing as I haven’t really cared for one of their albums as a whole since So Divided (2006).

So, that is a breakdown of what is dividing me right now. I am ignoring the fact that my book gets released this week because I could just write endlessly about that and I want to keep everything excited and everyone interested.

ON A SIDE NOTE: I am looking for a publishing agent. For an example of the work I have completed, read the book. I have another idea in the works already, and I hope to have the next book ready by this time next year.

I am going to post my two favourite songs from the albums I want to write about below. If you have an opinion on which one I should write about, let me know!

I miss you…

I hate that I miss you.

You were only in my life really for about a year. I knew you before, but as passing friends. We had about 10 hours of conversation saved up over the five years that we knew each other existed, and about 5 hours of that was sarcastic quips and mockery. We started talking more after we both left hospital and discovered that we had sickness in common.

You were my unicorn. I had not heard, at the time of our meeting, anyone else who had ever lived with viral meningoencephalitis. Not to belabour the point, but to find someone in my circle who had survived the first year within my circle was absolutely mind blowing. I can not express how important just knowing anyone else who was diagnosed was.

I am not saying we are the same in any way. You would hate that. You always expressed how comparison of sickness was pointless, and I carry that idea with me to this day. You would be proud of the idea that I haven’t done so since you last talked to me about how pointless it was.

The last conversation we had, we laughed about how messed up the world is. We seemed to share an appreciation for the humour that comes with this life. You were part of the inspiration for my continued writing.

Anyway, it would be ironic if I used your passing back in November for advertising. To push your name as a banner for my book is the most horrible and disrespectful thing ever. That is why I have not mentioned your name up to this point, and I won’t by the end of this post. I promise. That is the least I could do.

I did, however, dedicate the book to you. To your family. To your friends.

I am re-releasing the first one, fixed up and not as horrible. I am putting all the short stories I had released before the turn of the decade in a form you could have read. That I wanted you to read.

You always gave me shit for not having them in print. I hope this is a decent dedication to your memory.

Happy Birthday.

The Book

My plan is to make this my last post until the release, just because information for the next week will be slow and minimal.

Yes, I am reissuing the book I released a few years ago. With that said, I am going to be more than doubling the length. I fixed so many stupid and dumb mistakes that were in the initial release. I filled out at least two chapters, and added the first year of anewsin releases (plus a couple more). The digital copy will be the same cover as the original, but the hard/soft covers will be black with white writing.

This book marks the initial release of the anewsin volumes that I plan to release every couple of years. The format that I used is a lot of fun to write, and it lends itself to releasing short stories with keeping some sort of cognizant flow.

I AM STILL RELEASING STORIES ON HERE EVERY TWO MONTHS.

The released versions will be perfected and cleaned up further than what I have on here. As for editing, I plan on using Luka’s talents for as long as I can. At the very least, she makes everything so much easier to read because I tend to ramble and get lost in my own thoughts. (Not to mention that I make stupid mistakes…)

Anyway, the next post I make will be updating everyone with links and further information.

KEEP IN MIND:
all Patreons who donate for more than two months, regardless of amount, get their names in the thanks at the end of the text!

So, please: tell everyone who might be interested! I will do my best to keep you up-to-date with information when I get it! I love you!

Hey: Some news!

  1. I finally got around to editing some footage from The Twin playing Warped Tour. I have had the footage for a number of years, and I finally got around to editing and fixing all of it. YouTube compresses the footage in a way that makes the audio very blown out, but I am happy with the way it turned out!
  2. As I am sure you have noticed if you follow me on either Twitter or Facebook, I have been shopping my book around for an updated, and better, release. Friessen Press has agreed to re-release the book with all the revisions and additions. You’re Not Dead has tripled in size, and I will keep you up to date with actual releases and whatnot. The latest release, if all goes well, is early 2020.
  3. The last anewin release has performed very poorly. I think just due to it not being advertised well on my part. A large part of that is because I have been so distracted with the re-write of You’re Not Dead and contacting agents. EXCUSES EXCUSES. My end point is that I am very proud of it and feel that it is being ignored. At the risk of alienating people, the point of this story was to illustrate the issue with not being afflicted by what you are rallying for: the almost dismissal of situational differences because of the systematic coat of paint left by society.
  4. Why am I posting while on “hiatus”? Simple. The break was more to announce a dramatic decrease in updates, not to up and vanish. I do not see myself doing many more releases before the new year, but you never know what will happen.
Enjoy the noise!

Rest In Peace, my friend

I hate posting “in memorial”s on this page. I always feel like it is just me saying “PITY ME, I’M SAD!” which could not be further from the truth. I feel like this is important because of how important Krista was, to me personally, as well as a fantastic person.

I met Krista in 2008. She worked at a local video game store that my store dealt quite a lot with due to our similar stock and interest. She seemed to be a quiet girl, very knowledgeable and well versed in the world of electronic media. At the time I really did not get to know her well, and I always regretted that.

Fast forward to mid 2019. As far as I knew, I was the only person alive who contracted Viral Meningoencephalitis. I say that with absolutely no pride, as I felt alone and absolutely isolated from everyone I have ever and could ever meet. I wanted to share with someone what experiences I had, and wanted to learn from someone what to expect. As far as my limited research goes, there was no one for me to reach out to.

Shortly after my first book, You’re Not Dead, was released, my friend Michelle reached out. She wanted to get a copy to read to her friend that, as far as I knew, went through a similar ordeal. Fast forward a year, and I finally was put back in touch with Krista. It tuns out that she went through a similar thing because we had similar diagnostics. We had both confounded the medical communities with symptoms that made no sense.

For the next year, we would talk over messengers about what we went through. She, daily, reminded me that what we went through was not a competition. At the time, I was completely confused what she could mean by that. It took me several weeks to realize that, inadvertently, I was trying to compare by competing. By that, I mean that I would say “I suffered more because I went through this” while trying to see if she did something similar.

I am not proud of many things, but I am extremely proud that I had ever met Krista. I will miss her.

Wheelchairs are Not a Death Sentence

I was talking to someone a while ago online so they could not see me. It was an old friend who I had not talked to in a number of years. We were talking about how last they heard anything about me, I was about to die. They explained that they were distressed by the news, and they wished they had been able to make it out to show their support to my family when the worst came to pass. They had not kept up with anyone, or looked on social media to see how I was doing. They then notified me that they were going to be in town and asked if they could come by to see me.

Not maliciously, I agreed and they made plans to come by. I was very excited: this was a friend I had not seen since high school. We were never that close, but the exchanges we had were pleasant when they happened. We had gone for coffee about a decade ago, run into each other at concerts, and we worked in close proximity. We never had many mutual friends, and our circles of connections were never close.

When they came to the door, I opened it. Imidiately, they broke down into tears and started murmering “I’m so sorry” between sobs.

I cannot say I was offended. I really did not pay much head until they gestured towards the wheelchair.

“I can’t believe this. You used to stand so proud.”

I was more taken back than offended. The implication that I was not at all the person I was before the wheelchair hurt. The judgement was made before they got to see what I had been doing: before they said more than ten words to me, and before I could even respond. The idea that the chair was a status instead of what it was: an aid.

Wheelchairs are NOT to be a reflection of who you are talking to. Yes, life is more dificult in some ways. Yes, I am in the chair because I cannot walk on my own. No, it is not dictating parts of my life.

To assume that my everything revolves around the chair is rather shallow. It shows a level of disregard for me the person, and a fixation on me the object. I cheated death twice, not being able to walk is only a minor repercussion.

Yes, being in a wheelchair does suck, in some ways. However, it is how I function and get around now. I will not say that it is preferred, but I refuse to bend to it being the worst outcome for any situation. I got out of my brain swelling with only minor brain damage that effected mostly superficial parts of me. I know it sounds bad, but I consider that a win.

No, I cannot work right now, and it sucks. So I write non-fiction to busy myself. To express creative endeavours, I write fiction. I am trying to get published because I know that, with proper support, I can do that. I am not even eluding to accessibility support, I am just terrible at marketing.

Tangent aside, if someone in your life finds themselves in a wheelchair, find out how they feel about it before jumping to condolences and depression. They might be in a good place, or even the best place they have been in for a while.

A bit earlier than usual…

I am putting in my usual break a bit earlier than usual. That means no updates until the new year. I know it has little bearing when I just got rid of the update scheduel, but I am more posting this so you don’t come expecting anything.

Still new asnP on the first. No additional updates for the rest of November and most of December, though. I like to take this break to relieve my brain of frantically thinking of what to write about next, blog wise. I plan on cleaning up and editing my book in the meantime. That’s all the info you get on that, however.

My birthday is on the 12th. I will be 31, and starting into the fresh hell that is being in my 30’s. My wife assures me that it’s okay, but I’ll reserve judgement.

Write Everything.

I found myself in a bit of a jam the other day. I knew I had to write, but I couldn’t find a voice or tone to use. My topics all seemed petty, my vocabulary was dower, and everything seemed wrong. So: I just wrote anyway.

The result? I wrote a script. Not a good one, but it did loosen up areas of insight in my mind. It seemed to be the concept that was drowning my thoughts and not allowing me to continue to write different things.

I will admit: it’s loosely based on a real conversation I had with someone. It paints “me” in a rather pretentious light and her in a horribly arrogant one. I enjoy it, but also acknowledge that it’s very poor in quality. I will be releasing it in the new year under the anewsinPublishing banner because I don’t like to hold anything back.

That brings me to the idea I want to put out there. I am a firm believer in that whatever comes to mind should be written down. That includes if it’s bad. Just get thoughts out there. I find myself stuck on, what feels like, nothing for days on end. I have a document on my desktop full of half-stories that will probably never see the light of day. I just need to get them out, then my brain is no longer full of stupid and generic shit.

Oh! I should mention that it’s my birthday on the 12th! I will be posting my usual masterbatory BIRTHDAY message then vanish for the remainder of the year, like I always do. I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to go the same way that it has in the past, though. I have “foam” coming out on the first, which I am stoked on finally releasing to everyone. I also have a couple applications for things that I want to address as soon as any sort of result comes from them.

It’s starting to be Christmas season once again. Please, consider donating to my Patreon so I can afford to give my wife something nice and my pets food. Even a dollar means the world!