The Century of Self

These Austin-based art rockers keep the drama coming.

If I were to use one word to describe the glorious sound this Austin-based band makes, it would have to be “dramatic.” On their sixth album …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead embody teen angst in its purest form. Think heavy instrumentation, raging guitars, keyboards, and crashing percussion, with vocal duties shared by Jason Reece and Conrad Keely (who the bratty croon belongs to). Yet, the reason they call this stuff art rock is evident in the buildup of melodies until they’re whipped into a rapturous frenzy. “Far Pavilions” and “Halcyon Days” are classic Trail of Dead while “Bells of Creation” recalls the group’s signature psychedelic crescendos. I’ve always felt this band courts the Hot Topic crowd, yet they dig so much deeper than the typical radio-friendly rock/punk band. At live shows, I am usually the old fart in a sea of barely legals, but if loving Trail of Dead at my age is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.