The Twlight Sad’s catalogue is a dense, creative, endlessly daunting well of emotion. It speaks volumes, then, that more than a decade into their lives together the Scottish band can produce an album so challenging, so engrossing, and so affecting as ‘It Won/t Be Like This All The Time’.
Famously aided by The Cure’s Robert Smith, a lengthy spell on the road with the group - combined with a small re-shuffle in line-up - seems to have unlocked something, allowing them to reach a new level.
‘[10 Good Reasons For Modern Drugs]’ is strikingly visceral, while ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’ opens in languid, fractured, sub-zero climates. ‘Vtr’ is a pop song from another dimension, all glistening ’80s synths in the arrangement and deranged paranoia on the lyric sheet; ‘Auge Maschine’ is sheer sonic brutality, while ‘Girl Chewing Gum’ places the needle in the red, an unrelenting belch of intensity.
In harnessing the physical energy of their sound, The Twilight Sad seem to have found fresh nuance in their work; James Graham’s lyrics feel compelled, inspired, while the music itself continually leans towards the daring, the unexpected, and the sublime.
In discarding expectations The Twilight Sad have delivered something very special indeed.
Words: Robin Murray
Dig it? Dig deeper: Mogwai, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails
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