James Graham of Twilight Sad and Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap are no strangers to collaborating with others, so there’s a certain inevitability to this collaboration. To anyone unfamiliar with Twilight Sad’s remixed tracks or Aidan Moffat’s electronic work as Lucky Pierre, this album will seem extremely odd. It’s ten tracks of heavy electronica. The opening track Waiting for Nothing is cheesy, in a breezy late eighties kind of way, but where your ears expect a female singer, you get Graham, whose voice seems quite out of place. Killing This Time is kind of a stonking dance tune, arms in the air type stuff and it’s something of a grower in its own way. The one departure, Date & Sign is a mellow keyboard ballad and works better than most of the material here. But the rest? Let Them Rot features pounding drums, clanking bells and James Graham’s child, Rent Free is interminable bleeping and pulsing, while the presence of what sounds like strings can’t rescue Face To Fire (After Nyman). Shores of Anhedonia at least provides a bit of variety, it’s here we hear Moffat’s voice for the first time as he delivers a spoken word piece over more maddening electronica.
James Graham’s voice has its detractors, but it generally works best as one element in a gauzy, gloopy whole with Twilight Sad. At times here, however, it’s right up front on the likes of Don’t Say Goodnight and sadly its deficiencies have nowhere to hide. And although the last track is titled Landfill, ironically it’s the one track where the combination of the electronics and Graham’s voice really works. I suspect this album will prove a bridge too far for Twilight Sad and Arab Strap fans. Get back to the day jobs lads!
Killing This Time