Scottish band The Twilight Sad’s fourth album is a change in direction for the band. Whereas 2009’s Forget The Night Ahead focused on a shoegaze-inspired sound and 2012’s No One Can Ever Know contained dark electronica, this album is more an amalgam of these influences, with an epic feel to it. On previous albums the opening song set the benchmark for what was to follow and so it goes here. There’s A Girl in the Corner is a mid-paced dark guitar rocker with synth touches and singer James Graham in fine voice singing about how “she’s not coming back”. It’s a promising opener and they build on it with Last Janauary which is almost cast in a similar mould. Speaking of moulds, The National are a major influence on this album, particularly on the strong choruses of I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want, dark beauty Pills I Swallow and especially synth-anthem, the Joy Division-influenced It Never Was The Same .
In Nowheres provides a change in gear, with Andy MacFarlane’s buzzsaw guitars stomping about crankily with Graham sounding more lost than ever, bellowing “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know” to great effect. The title track shows the greatest nod to My Bloody Valentine, with the poppiest melody here buried by layers of fuzz. The final two tracks are another change in gear, Leave The House starts out with twinkling keyboards before the guitars are added halfway through, while the somewhat laboured Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep is the sparsest thing here with MacFarlane’s guitar pretty much absent.
But this is an old-fashioned ‘indie’ band performing to great heights, with plenty of songs here that could edge them towards the mainstream and (gasp) popularity.
1. There’s A Girl In The Corner
2. Last January
3. I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
4. It Never Was The Same
5. Drown So I Can Watch
6. In Nowheres
7. Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave
8. Pills I Swallow
9. Leave The House
10. Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep