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Dublin Temple Bar Music Centre

A rare and unmissable blast...

How long Trail of Dead can keep this level of mayhem on the on the boil is questionable, but all you can do is stand back and soak up the spectacle, the noise and the sheer, unadulterated catharsis of it all. In an age when punk-rock is either comically inept or unpleasantly po-faced, Trail Of Dead are one of the few remaining citadels of the beauty - from - (self) destruction premise.



The rat-a-tat drum attack, the messy 'Daydream Nation' guitar symphonies, the Dead Kennedys psychobabble, the Stooges' erratic cacophony, the early MBV white-noise art-attacks, and the flailing Townshend windmills, Trail of Dead are a confounding eruption of references from the bad attitude rock 'n' roll canon.



The frantic tussle between interchangeable singer/guitarists/drummers Conrad Keely and Jason Reece, is the visual centrepiece, climaxing in an onstage brawl. When Reece catapults his body from the stage you get the feeling that he's escaping the kinetic violence of his bandmates to the more tranquil plateau above the heaving moshpit. But even with his busted hand, stitches clinging on for dear life, Reece is an inspirational, aspirational, unhinged thrill-seeker, devoid of control, adrenalin pumping through his veins like bad acid. Keely, on the other hand, is a demonic schoolboy with a neat haircut and a sonic missile shoved up his ass.



'Mistakes and Regrets' is drawn-out, punctuated with rushing crescendos, collapsing with desperate angst. 'Clair de Lune' begins like a calm oasis of hummable pop, but when Keely sings "Well the mood settles down" you know it's merely the calm before the storm as another tumultuous overload topples from the speakers and the harmony is vacuumed into psychotic despair. 'Totally Natural' is pure, dramatic, apocalyptic carnage. And 'Fake Eyes' is performed with incensed fury, like it could be the last time.



Inevitably, Trail of Dead will become outweighed by their incendiary reputation, and in time, they may look to a more sophisticated sense of song. But for now, they are a rare and unmissable blast.

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