The average Twilight Sad song is not a true bummer, because the
Kilsyth, Scotland, band looks at sadness as an emotion to be lived with, handled
and explored. There’s no drowning in sorrow. It helps that the average Twilight
Sad song also contains some thunderous and howling guitar noises. As on 2007’s Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters,
the band gets loud on Forget The Night
Ahead, and the contemplative moments almost always are swept up by huge
Still, where Fourteen
Autumns felt unpolished, the new album sometimes has the crispness of a car
commercial – and it’s not necessarily a flaw. The 11 songs are more sure-handed
than previous efforts, and they pull more influences from the broad swath of
alt-rock between The Twilight Sad’s two guiding stars: shoegaze and post-punk.
“I Became A Prostitute,” despite its title, is
arena-ready; “The Neighbors Can’t Breathe” has strong undercurrents
of peak-era New Wave; and the more experimental tracks (“Scissors,”
“Floorboards Under The Bed”) owe a little to Glenn Branca. When the band dwells
in quieter passages, it has a firm grip on its melancholia. Even the
slow-building “That Room” — with its martial beat, repeated piano
chord and cryptic family-drama lyrics — is never sappy.
It’s best to take in Forget
The Night Ahead all at once, however. With singer James Graham’s purposeful
melodies and thick burr guiding the way, the songs surge with cold confidence,
as if everybody knows there’s shelter somewhere, just in case they want it.
Standout tracks: “I Became A
Prostitute,” “The Neighbors Can’t Breathe” JOE WARMINSKY