Man, we needed this. After a decade spent slowly slipping into prog-rock absurdity (for reference, their last record featured a steam-punk fox with a laser gun on its cover), Austin's Trail of Dead is back to rocking the fuck out. Described by leader Conrad as a reaction to "the apathy to real world events that has plagued the independent music scene now for over a decade," their latest Lost Songs musters a pummeling energy here which the band hasn't displayed since, coincidently, their decade-old and most beloved release, 2002's Source Tags & Codes. Fast, lean, and ferocious, it's an all-too-welcome return to form. —J.D. Swerzenski
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