Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    Their finest record to date and the most blistering, blissful album to be released by anyone in years.
  2. 100
    Dense, beautiful, intricate, haunting, explosive, and dangerous, this is everything rock music aspires to be: intense, incredible songs arranged perfectly and performed with skill and passion.
  3. 100
    Source Tags and Codes is phenomenal. It's one of those albums that starts the listener on a seeminlgly unsustainable high note, and uses that as a launching point.
  4. Throughout, Trail Of Dead make off like indie rock legends at the top of their game.
  5. For all its gonzo, crackpot gestures, Source Tags & Codes is a remarkably coherent work. It stands as the most melodically-inclined album in their catalogue and boasts their strongest songwriting to date.
  6. What makes "Source Tags & Codes" such an amazing album is how the band teeters on the edge of this implosion but always yanks its songs back from collapse at the very last second.
  7. An album that absolutely cannot be ignored.
  8. There are times when Conrad Keely's scabrous vocals are more grating than ingratiating, but this is mainly stunning stuff.
  9. The group plays imaginative alt-rock with intense passion, and Source Tags & Codes lets the pressure build exquisitely.
  10. Sure, they make use of their obviously higher budget and Source Tags And Codes sounds more rich and layered because of it, but like Modest Mouse with The Moon And Antarctica, they've used these new elements to accent their music, not destroy it.
  11. They don't make a better sound than your average bunch of Sonic Youth fanatics, but they make it feel better, make it seem more important, more romantic almost.
  12. Uncut
    80
    Compared to so many noisemongers, TOD understand that restraint enables unleashed firepower to be exhilarating and awesome. [Apr 2002, p.111]
  13. Blender
    80
    Another assault of angular, Sonic Youth-style guitar and earnest anger that's more leftfield than most punk, and more engaging than many of their post-rock peers. [Feb/Mar 2002, p.110]
  14. 'Source Tags And Codes' comes with an albatross-like weight of expectation round its skinny neck - yet happily, it's supported by a band who have grown to match it.
  15. At least it captures the fuzzy-math sound from too many gray-area indie bands--and it rocks hard where geezers like Mercury Rev just drift away.
  16. Mojo
    70
    Not a crossover record, but invigorating. [Mar 2002, p.114]
  17. Alternative Press
    70
    The band's most obviously emo album to date. [Mar 2002, p.72]
  18. Q Magazine
    60
    ...Trail of Dead have reached a point where the need for convention outweighs the joy of using guitars as weapons. [Feb 2002, p.104]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. ALex
    May 16, 2002
    10
    This is a really good album.. It's one of those albums that surprises you... it gets better every time you listen to it.
  2. Aug 11, 2011
    10
    Beautiful, powerful music, and the nearest thing to a sonic epiphany i've had in years. Just get it - tracks like 'Heart in the Hand of theBeautiful, powerful music, and the nearest thing to a sonic epiphany i've had in years. Just get it - tracks like 'Heart in the Hand of the Matter' and the title track are just sublime rock music. Full Review »
  3. May 28, 2011
    10
    An incomprehensibly great album. It's got semi-orchestral rock down better than anyone could ever dream. Lyrically, try and find a better songAn incomprehensibly great album. It's got semi-orchestral rock down better than anyone could ever dream. Lyrically, try and find a better song than the last track on this album. Full Review »