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The second entry into the Ultimate Playlist is “Another Morning Stoner” by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The band name is completely unwieldy and over the top, which isn’t too far off from their musical style. Bombastic, big, heart-on-sleeve, quasi-hardcore, quasi-punk is their forte. Trail of Dead are particularly known for their exceptional 3rd record Source Tags & Codes, and “Another Morning Stoner” is the high point of that release. It works because in part of the massive guitars, but very often because the song’s motor never lets up: the drums. The percussive power manages to keep just ahead of the anticipated pace and gives an apparent acceleration to the whole affair.

It also helps that the vocals push toward the edge of screaming but never quite get there. Screaming rarely works quite right, so Conrad Keely’s raw performance on “Another Morning Stoner” comes across as both powerful and appropriate. When you blend the whole package, it’s an explosive release of rock power, emotion, and art. Certainly a great cornerstone for any playlist.

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