The ultimate test of an album is if it has staying power. If you want to go back and listen to it again and again, then
it is a good album, despite what the critics may say about it. The weird thing about Traindodge is that the music sounds really
good when you're listening to it, but when you stop listening to it, it all becomes a sludgy mess in my mind. In fact,
I really have little ambition to hear it again. But when I do listen again, I remember why I liked it.
I hesitate to classify this, because the first thing that comes to mind is 'grunge'. Perhaps there's a new term for grunge
that I missed out on, but that's what this is. From the sludgy, dissonant guitars to the half-screamed, half-sung vocals,
this has all the hallmarks that personified early 90's. But this isn't a Nirvana cover band. They have infused the sound with
modern hardcore vibes (Knuckles, On a Lake) and the occasional mathy riff (Five Forks, Curtain Call), to create an angrier
sound than the wailing, depressed melancholy that was most grunge, and anger is always cooler than sadness.
But the real treat here is different than all of that. "The Anecdote" is a subdued, meandering rock piece that builds in
emotion by repeating a single sample over and over (the screamed word "run"). It's extremely eerie and very interesting.
The lyrics are equally interesting, as none of them are even halfway understandable on the first glance. It takes a LONG
time for these lyrics to sink in, but once you finally think about them long enough, they suddenly become very understandable
and cool. I'll leave them up to you to decipher, as these are words that have a different meaning to every person who reads
them. Unfortunately, when listening to the album, it's hard to catch what he's singing/screaming, which relegates the lyrics
booklet to nothing more than a booklet of poetry. That's not a bad thing, because it's fantastic poetry, but hearing
the words would be a good thing.
This is an album that cancels itself out. It has great lyrics, but unintelligible delivery. It has a great sound, but it
doesn't stick with you very long. They are extremely talented, and I still can't figure out why this doesn't make an impression
other than one song. "On a Lake of Dead Trees" is a good album, but its missing something.