Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Album Review - The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

Unsure and quite frankly unnerved by other reviews and discussion, I teetered on the edge until I was securely past the initial twenty seconds of the opening track to The Twilight Sad’s fourth album Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave.  As it happens There’s a Girl In The Corner  slams open the doors to the album, presenting The Twilight Sad in their current glory. 

The track swings out with swerving guitar strings, concentrated doses of loud and beautiful drums and, all throughout, keys building up a glorious little crescendo of their own; a small yet clever touch which animates the whole track.  It’s the opening track and with The Twilight Sad’s reputation, I’m expecting something.  So I wait.  It takes until 2 minutes and 35 seconds in but, it was worth it.  Hand in hand with the creeping keys, the drums expel with splashing cymbals and a flood of wondrously loud and hazed guitar strings.  Good start, eh?

Struck by whips of drums and punching guitar notes Last January  delivers upbeat melodies with more energy and more optimism than the previous track.  I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want  provides the album with a lighter, uplifting sound while maintaining their sedated guitar rifts.  Weaved with tones of sadness It Was Never The Same  is matched equally by its grave and cryptic lyrics; "We tried to save them all… you didn’t have to kill them all."

As each track evolves and contrasts from the other, none does so quite like Drown So I Can Watch.  Revealing moments of experimental and quirky arrangements, it is the shortest song on the album and possibly a contender for the most diverse track.  In Nowheres  follows closely with heaving tones of distortion and chimes of promise.

Racing and buzzing guitar accompanies Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave  alongside James Graham's instinctively haunting vocals.  The instrumental alone allows you to think the song is building to a point, a break in consistency or even an almighty crashing chorus.  But you’re left floating.  The entire track carries you along on top of the guitar lines and smashing cymbals, and all of a sudden, it's over.  It's the song that makes you want more.  Taken aback, I’m comforted by the dulcet and synthetically swaying tones of Leave The House,  and as the tempo softens I become aware we are about to enter the final stages of the album.  Not quite yet though, in what has been the true fashion of this album, The Twilight Sad hide a trickling rupture amidst this peacefully undisturbed, and restful song creating the greatest of surprises and an explosion of trembles.

Abandoning the setup that fell before it, Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep  peels away the outer layers of The Twilight Sad, leaving them feeling exposed without their armour of thrashing drums and clashing guitar notes.  Reeling in the raw nature this track has brought them to, The Twilight Sad for once sound vulnerable, with James Graham’s vocals breeding a more honest and candid sound.

- Melanie McKinlay

The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave  is out now via FatCat Records and available from all good record shops and online music retailers.

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