A few years ago it seemed like the Twilight Sad had had their day. Despite releasing a string of brilliant records they hadn't really crossed over to the success they deserved. Yet all of a sudden here they are with what could be the biggest album of their career. They've used the opportunity to make some pretty wild punctuation experiments and are very fond of the forward slash. Hopefully this will help their mopey Scottish noise pop get an audience amongst the hoards of people who have seen them support the likes of the Cure and Editors.
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Ooph! It's a bit overblown isn't it? That's the first impression we got of this the fifth the Twilight Sad record but after years of struggle it seems to be the time for the Twilight Sad so it makes sense they go in all guns blazing. The band have been taking their raucous brand of post punk to some of the world's biggest stages on tour with the likes of the Cure, Editors and Mogwai gaining them the sort of exposure they've long deserved.
What it does mean is that they've thrown the kitchen sink at this album which happily manages to blend their slightly more muted sound with the sort of rip- the-stadium-roof-off anthems that they may now be expected to perform. There's lots to keep long term Twilight Sad fans happy. 'The Arbour' is a brilliant album highlight where the windswept Twilight Sad sound is combined with some the Cure-ish guitars leading to a rain lashed piece of post punk which is as good as anything that has been done in the genre. The band sound revitalised on tracks such as 'VTr' which crackles along at a fair old rate of knots - James Graham's vocals as ever veer from muttering to full on blood curdling shouting as he struggles to be heard over the rattle of the band.
There's no doubt about it, this is a massive sound. It sounds like it was recorded in an aircraft hanger and if the racket of guitars and drums were not enough then the band slap on lots of big synths somewhat like their Scottish forbearers Simple Minds. It's probably a personal taste thing but I never really think they are needed. The dynamic of the band is always enough to see them trough.
Though this is Twilight Sad with bells on, the songs are of a consistently high quality that there's plenty to enjoy throughout. I'll be interested to see how this does for them. It may well be their biggest selling record which is quite some feat for a band who formed in 2003. Longevity isn't something we talk about much in music but Twilight Sad have endured. Personally It Won't Be Like This All the Time is sometimes a little overcooked for my full enjoyment but this is big music done well which is a hard thing to achieve. It's not just empty bluster.... all of this means something and like all Twilight Sad music bears up well to repeated listens.
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