The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time – Album Review by Killian Laher
A first album in more than four years for Scottish miserablists The Twilight Sad. Since their last album they’ve enjoyed the patronage of none other than Robert Smith, whose endorsement surely added to the band’s fanbase. Their fifth album sees the band dial up the electronic aspects of their sound. The album opens with a strange, repeating noise that almost sounds like an alarm before James Graham bawls his vocals over the music to introduce 10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs. It seems like they threw the kitchen sink in here and the track doesn’t really work. No hanging about as they barrel into Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting. A much more straightforward track, it has the clean, dark edges of Interpol.
The first track that really resonates is The Arbor, with a dark, descending melody and a bassline straight out of mid-eighties Sisters of Mercy. The sparser arrangement allows Graham’s vocal to really inhabit the song. Elsewhere the ghost of Depeche Mode haunts the likes of VTr, Keep It All To Myself, Videograms and I/m Not Here. The latter works best of these, thanks to a tight, dark electro arrangement and a fine vocal performance. Girl Chewing Gum has a murkier edge, with a wobbly keyboard line, while Let/s Get Lost nods back to their older, shoegazey material.
With such prominent keyboards throughout, it feels as if The Twilight Sad have made their eighties dark synth-pop album. It’s not a sound that totally suits them, often James Graham’s vocals feel at odds with the music, he at times sounds like a singer begging for a big guitar riff, which never arrives. Will be interesting to see where they go next.
Track List –
1. [10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs]
2. Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting
3. The Arbor
5. Sunday Day13
6. I/m Not Here [missing face]
8. Keep It All To Myself
9. Girl Chewing Gum
10. Let/s Get Lost
I/m Not Here