Austin gear-destroyer And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead is one of those bands signed to a major label not for commercial viability, but for street cred. Like Sonic Youth -- from whose fakebook Trail of Dead notoriously borrowed more than a few pages for 2002's Source Tags & Codes -- the quartet brings edginess to Interscope's roster but doesn't exactly create albums with mass appeal. Worlds Apart, the act's latest effort, jumps genres haphazardly. Drool over post-R.E.M., mid-'80s jangle rock? Try the title track. Into Air's floating ambience? Chill with "The Last City of Refuge." Pine for grunge-era throttling? Crank up "Caterwaul." The scattered nature of this disc is its true weakness: Whereas Codes felt ready to detonate at any moment despite its cohesion, Apart floats aimlessly, like ash and debris cascading silently downward in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.
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