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The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All The Time (Album Review)

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 Written by Graeme Marsh

When football fever gripped England in the summer of 2018, as Gareth Southgate’s side saw off Sweden to book a place in the World Cup semi-finals, the celebrations extended to the sweltering heat of London’s Hyde Park. A huge crowd had assembled to witness a similarly colossal line-up curated by the Cure at British Summer Time, swapping the pubs and bars of the capital for sweeping goth-pop following the final whistle.

But nestled among the flying pints and Three Lions singalongs was a captivating little pocket of Scotland as the Twilight Sad took to the stage. The post-punk band are admired by Robert Smith, who had already taken them under his wing and given them previous support slots, including dates at Wembley Arena. The band have also overcome personnel and label changes in recent times, with those circumstances certainly helping to shape their fifth album ‘It Won/t Be Like This All The Time’.

Long-time touring members Brendan Smith and Johnny Docherty were brought on board full time, joining guitarist Andy MacFarlane and frontman James Graham, while their new label—Mogwai’s Rock Action Records—have also given them creative freedom to flesh out the demos that MacFarlane initially crafted at home in London.

And, from the pulsing synths of opener [10 Good Reasons For Modern Drugs], it’s obvious that something special is going down. The first line introduces a recurring, but not dominant, theme that will feature throughout the album’s 46 minutes.

“We’re hanging on by a thread,” Graham sings, adding: “I see the cracks all start to show.” Things go a notch higher during the siren-heralded I/m Not Here [missing face]: “I can’t stand to be around you anymore.” Although here the feeling is reciprocated in suitably dramatic style: “You don't wanna be around me anymore.”

Propulsive drum beats thump their way through both Girl Chewing Gum and the equally impressive Let/s Get Lost, the former recalling another of those acts melting in the Hyde Park heat—Editors. And it’s not the only similarity the Twilight Sad share with the Birmingham band here, with Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’s powerful chorus and the anthemic Auge/Maschine echoing Tom Smith and company.

Closer Videograms takes its guitar cues from Smith before gorgeous synth melodies take over, but quite possibly the best single the band have ever cut, VTr, soars above its peers. A standard verse, bridge, chorus structure, including a compelling bassline, underpins a catchy belter that should be gracing airwaves constantly. If there was ever a song to sell the band to a newcomer, this is it.

‘Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave’ was a major success for the Twlight Sad back in 2014, but ‘It Won/t Be Like This All The Time’ appears to have propelled them even further forward. It may only be January but this is surely destined to appear in one or two year end lists.

The Twilight Sad Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed February 27 2019 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Thu February 28 2019 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Sat March 02 2019 - GLASGOW Barrowland

Click here to compare & buy The Twilight Sad Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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