After reading so much disdainful press, I was surpised how unoffended I was by And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead's Worlds Apart. It struck me as more timpani for timpani's sake, and a less dirgey slice of it at that. The grandiose signifiers on Source Tags & Codes were overrated to such an extreme that it makes sense embarassed fans took it out on the band the next time around.
While its just as bloated and purple as its predecessor, part of the reason I prefer Worlds Apart is the shameless nihilism they have in regards to alt-culture. Things haven't been the same since the "Summer of '91," and while I assume they're talking about that first Lollapalooza, I was 11 and they couldn't have been much older. The title track declares the youth of america completely fubar, waiting to "pay back the debt for this candy store of ours," and "Let It Dive" suggests we just abandon the 25-year-old underground aesthetic all together ("gone are those times forever/ lost are those sweet warm other days"). It's a dangerous take, but as I wouldn't mind seeing someone pass out the poison kool-aid at the next Taking Back Sunday gig, I can sympathize. They're the flipside of the Arcade Fire - the bombastic coda to a decrepit dream rather than the dawn of a kinder, gentler indie scene. I'm not sure which is healthier, but I know which resonates deeper for me. Plus its nice to hear boy-rawk that doesn't revolve around a dysfunctional quest for poontang.