ALBUM REVIEW: The Twilight Sad – It Won’t Be Like This All the Time | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 18.01.19

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Debi Del Grande

What a difference four years can make. The last time The Twilight Sad were preparing to release a record, there were genuine fears it could be their last; yet the Scots begin 2019 in the best place of their career, finally drawing the wider recognition their output so richly merits.

The success of 2014’s Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave certainly played a role, but perhaps the most significant factor has been the enthusiasm of one particular fan by the name of Robert Smith. As well as covering one of their songs, Smith invited the group to open for The Cure on their North American and European tours, together with huge one-off shows at British Summertime and 2019’s Glasgow Summer Sessions. It comes as little surprise, then, to find his distinctive fingerprints smeared all over their fifth studio outing.

Although he harboured no direct involvement, it’s fair to say the gothic elements of Twilight Sad’s sound no longer simmer as subtle undercurrents. There are select moments where Smith’s influence could scarcely feel more explicit – yet while terrifically executed these prove the exceptions on a collection whose greatest strength is its refusal to ease new listeners in with a distilled or dumbed down sound. Indeed, although It Won’t Be Like This All The Time does bear traces of its predecessor, the record with which it shares the most DNA is 2012’s underrated No One Can Ever Know; both in guitarist Andy MacFarlane’s satisfyingly raw production and in its wholehearted embrace of electronics.

Driven by a chilly synth pulse, cuts such as VTr and I/m Not Here [Missing Face] are the most vivid realisations to date of the post-punk aesthetic introduced on NOCEK, and what’s more force a socking tempo yet to be heard over the course of a full-length. It’s an urgency which suits them immensely, and augmented with James Graham’s intense brogue and MacFarlane’s cavernous scythes of noise remains unmistakably the work of The Twilight Sad.

Above all, it represents a further triumph for one of Britain’s finest bands – and in full flow finds them resembling nobody but themselves.

 

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