Source Tags & Codes (album) by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Source Tags & Codes
Source Tags & Codes by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (2002)
Overall rank: 1,200th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 183 votes)
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Accolades:
Award Top albums of 2002 (23rd)
Award Top albums of the 2000s (223rd)
Award Best albums of all time (1,200th)

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...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead bestography

Source Tags & Codes is ranked as the best album by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead album bestography « Higher ranked This album (1,200th) Lower ranked (2,661st) »
-Source Tags & CodesWorlds Apart

Members who like this album also like: Kid A by Radiohead, OK Computer by Radiohead and Funeral by Arcade Fire.

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Source Tags & Codes track list

Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 83 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Rating: 85 (33 votes)Comments: 2
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Rating: 81 (26 votes)Comments: 2
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Rating: 85 (32 votes)Comments: 1
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Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 183 votes)
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Source Tags & Codes comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 16 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
60/100
From Pretender 02/27/2019 11:39
A bit like Broder Daniel but not nearly as potent.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From chriskarman 09/30/2018 20:58
This album is phenomenal! I can see why some might not care for it, but I am still genuinely shocked at how low it is here.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From pannkakesangen 08/05/2016 23:11
Dismiss my previous 'review'. This is a perfect rock album and one of the best albums I've heard in my life. Period.

DO NOT MISS OUT!!!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
70/100
From Boxyno1 02/02/2016 19:44
This is quite monstrous, not entirely my sort of thing, but I find it enjoyable, and can appreciate the quality on offer
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From exileonthehell 10/13/2015 13:49
Post-hardcore + Experimental Rock = Great Idea
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From VADERBREWING 08/06/2015 03:22
Source tags and codes is great.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (1 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From pannkakesangen 04/03/2015 14:38
*Not really a review but more a summary of my thoughts on this album. Well its kinda a review but I aint gonna bother to fix every little mistake so
its more just some paragraphs i wrote making me feel like an edgy critic. Also remember that all this is just my opinion so dont get butthurt, well
except for the objective things i wrote before "Does it live up to the hype?"

Source Tags & Codes, I am reviewing the international version which features the tracks "Invocation" and "Life is elsewhere"

3rd studio album + major label debut
Post-Hardcore/Indie Rock/Art rock band from texas ...Trail of dead were infamous for their explosive live shows.
They had released to albums prior to source tags & codes, the self titled one in 98 and "Madonna" in 99.

Together with bands like Modest Mouse and At the Drive-In they were hailed as "saviors of rock from the evils of nu-metal".

Released to critical acclaim in 2002, and pitchfork giving it a rare perfect 10. Does it live up to the hype?

Well the first 10 minutes definetely made me think so. The tracks "Invocation", "It Was There That I Saw You" and "Another Morning Stoner" add upp
to probably my favorite opening 10 minutes of any album ever, and I beg you, listen to those three tracks before reading this review because
I dont want to spoil it for you. I will explain in detail what makes me think those three tracks are absolute perfection.

The album opens with cold static and noise in the track "Invocation, then in comes a gorgeous piano piece and warming strings.
The song sums up the major feel of the album with no clear words being heard, and that feeling is, at the same time, the harsch coldness of a snowstorm
being neutralized by the warming of a volcano. The static noise is the ice, and the piano and strings is the fire and together they become
pure musical bliss. However, the major theme of the album has not yet been revealed...

The question is answered in the proper opener "It was there that i saw you", it reveals that the major theme of the album is the pain of longing,
of loss and heartbreaking nostalgia, just look at the song title. "It WAS there that I SAW you". Keywords: WAS and SAW.
The sentence is written in past tense, its something that has BEEN and it is tearing him apart, just listen to his pained voice.

The song instrumentally is flawless. Beginning with a subtle guitar line and then breaking into an explosion of volcanic guitars and
freezing cymbals. Then goes into this simple yet effective guitar trade-off then building up tension to a hypnotizing crescendo only Post-Rock legends
like Godspeed You! Black Emperor can rival. Then back into the vortex of noise for an explosive finish and what we have left are just guitar feedback
and the static the album began with.

Segwaying to the next track and possibly Trail of Deads most famous song: "Another Morning Stoner". This song is again, a perfectly crafted song:
Gracefully structured as it rises and falls, deeply layered lyrics and gorgeously textured music with strings and guitar noise etc. and thats not even
talking about the explosive and passionate performances. Finishing with a hard hitting mantra of "What is forgiveness? its just a dream. What is forgiveness? its everything."

And then we get the answers why this album is labeled as Art Rock: all these field recordings and static in between tracks. They definetely add a lot of
depth and personality to the album but sacrifices a better album flow sadly.

And then we get to the part where the album falls of its majestic throne and into a more inconsistant ride.

The next two tracks "Baudelaire" and "Homage" are not bad but they feel a little out of place aswell as does not live up to the standard set by
the preceding tracks. They feel out of place because they both dont feature the main singer instead the Bassist and Drummer sings respectively.
None of them are bad singers at all but their voices and emotional resonance does not fit the overall sad and melancolic theme of the album IMO.
But main vocalist Conrad Keely is definetely my favorite of the three.

"Baudelaire" is a groove heavy track and possibly the "happiest" sounding song on the album. Not because it really is a happy track but more a "rocking" song.
The bassist does have a great voice and a strong personality but again, does not fit the album that well. The song does also drag a little too much
as it just rides the same groove throughout almost the whole thing. However there is a great brass solo at the end that makes me not click the skip button.

"Homage" is the grimmest and most aggressive song on the album.

Drastically changing in mood and quality comes "How Near, How Far". The song title gives you the perfect impression of what this song is about, it is a question
without the questionmark. Not wanting the answer, but knowing it deep down. Its not far away, its not near, its gone, its lost. And the defining moment of the song,
the "how near, how far, how lost they are." part is just so perfect and here is why. It builds and builds but never reaching a climax, a conclusion, it just leaves you
hanging so by the time of the next words come in you are just left in space, you are one step away from the truth you know at the bottom of your heart, but your heart
wont let you reach it. Its just such a defining moment in the album and requires the listeners full undivided attention.

"Life is elsewhere", one of three interludes, not really much here, it just sounds like a scene from a classic Chambara movie.

The defing lyrics of next track "Heart in the hand of the matter" are "ride the apocalypse" and it literally feels like you are riding the apocalypse.
The song is very, well, apocalyptic and the groove is so "ridy" if that makes sense.

"Monsoon" is an even more apocalyptic track. Groove heavy too. It builds and builds and builds tension throughout leaving with a breathtaking climax of
chaos and noise before breaking into a new, more melancholic finish. Easily my favorite among the more out of place tracks.

"Days of Being Wild" is a good song. Hard hitting and explosive, but for some reason is it probably the least memorable song on
the album for me. Also the "middle finger to the instutution" part is sooo cringy.

And so as the album begins in a perfect manner, the album closes aswell. A three track combo, adding upp to 11 and a half minutes, finishes off this
album perfectly.

"Relative Ways" is part 1 of the finale and a damn great start. A passionate and hard hitting song with a very strong melody.

"After the Laughter" are one of the most genius segway/interlude/skit tracks I've ever heard and here's why: It ties the preceding and next track
together so perfectly as it begins with the previous song "Relative Ways" main melody then in the very same song foreshadowing one of the key
moments of the next song "Source Tags & Codes". Its just so tactfully done and subtle details like these blow me away. Also that sample of the
woman singing is just perfect.

And so the finale, one of the most sad and melancholic ballads ever written. Sums up the whole theme of longing in such a beautiful way. Its about
a boy leaving his home on a farm to go on a quest for answers. This song is progressive and textured and very moving. And leaves you hanging on
such a sad note. However, after a few seconds of silence, this uplifting string section comes and closes this album gracefully.

Thankfully these final 11 minutes carry the main theme of the album that captivates me the most and does not reach a weak moment at all.
Even though the first 10 minutes and the final 11 minutes are in my opinion perfection, is this album as a whole not, because its so inconsistant in
between. With the mood, themes and the quality of the music.

Score: 4.5/5

*Side notes.

Since this album often gets critized for being unoriginal lets talk influences for a second. Here are some connections I made to other bands when
listening to this album.

- Invocation & After the Laughter sounds like "Fitter Happier" and "Providence" respectevely were written in major.
- Baudelaire sounds like Josh Homme joined Drive Like Jehu.
- Homage sounds like Unwound was more "Post-Hardcore" than "Indie Rock"
- Relative Ways reminds me of Sonic Youth and Nirvana.
- Source Tags & Codes remind me of Oasis and Coldplay.

Fun facts:

- The string part at the end of the title track is actually a reprise of "How Near, How Far".
- Look closely at the album art, you can see for yourself... (damn does that album art sum up this album well)

Track rankings:

1. Another Morning Stoner 5/5
2. Invocation/It Was There That I Saw You 5/5
3. How Near, How Far 5/5
4. After the Laughter/Source Tags & Codes 5/5
5. Relative Ways 5/5
6. Monsoon 4.5/5
7. Heart In The Hand of the Matter 4/5
8. Baudelaire 3.5/5
9. Homage 3/5
10. Days of Being Wild 3/5
11. Life is Elsewhere 2.5/5
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +4 votes (4 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From pannkakesangen 02/10/2015 17:49
This album & band are so underrated, listen to the international version which has a very beautiful intro and you may find out why this album has the most breathtaking first 10 minutes of any album
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
55/100
From babyBlueSedan 02/02/2015 23:02
If Pitchfork hadn't given this a 10 hipsters would be lumping it in with all the other "post-hardcore" that's popular among high schoolers these days. It's certainly more interesting and detailed, but that doesn't necessarily make it automatically enjoyable. The singing still bothers me, and I agree it doesn't have much of anything meaningful to say that hasn't been whined about before.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -2 votes (0 helpful | 2 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From pannkakesangen 11/21/2014 23:05
Holy shit. This album is awesome, there isnt one bad song. THe highlights (It was there i saw you, Another morning stoner, How near how far and Source tags & codes) are some of the most moving songs i've ever heard
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 2002
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20. The Mantle by Agalloch


 
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