sat 25/05/2024

CD: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All the Time | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

CD: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

Scottish miserabilists remind you why you fell for them in the first place

A vivid, pulsing, beast of a record

The disappearance of a band for a while calls for a re-set. A reminder, perhaps, of why you fell for them in the first place.

"[10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs]", the four minutes of minor-key chaos that opens the new album from The Twilight Sad, is exactly that reminder: a title written by a computer programme, a sound like an air raid siren, and James Graham’s raw, tender, aching voice, screaming “I see the cracks all start to show” in a tone at once unhinged and pure.

It Won/t Be Like This All The Time arrives with its own mythology, the band’s staggeringly intimate records and live performances blown up to widescreen proportions thanks to months spent touring the world with The Cure (they will, appropriately enough, repeat the feat in Graham’s now-home of Glasgow this summer, at The Cure’s first Scottish show since 1992). A new lineup - Graham and founding guitarist Andy MacFarlane, now officially joined by touring members Brendan Smith and Johnny Docherty, and drummer Sebastien Schulz - have created a vivid, pulsing, beast of a record; propelled lyrically by depression, anxiety and grief yet soaked through with a melodic hopefulness that seeps into your bones.

The band switch from sweeping, atmospheric soundscapes that bring to mind new label mates Mogwai, to the stripped-back sparseness of album mid-point “Sunday Day13” - on which the instruments leave space for Graham to intone the title’s message of resilience. In between, singles “VTr” and “I/m Not Here [Missing Face]” let MacFarlane show off his newfound skill for a stadium-filling chorus, even if Graham’s “I won’t be surprised if it kills us all” and “I can’t stand to be around you anymore” make for unlikely singalong refrains. It Won/t Be Like This All The Time is the sound of a band that have been quietly readying themselves to take on the world, and the results are stunning in every sense of the word.

Below: watch the video for "VTr" by The Twilight Sad

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