Friday, January 29, 2010

Album Review: The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead

Bands that really make an impression on me don’t come along that often these days, but when one hits me, it hits hard. This is another album which is badly missed from my Top 10 of 2009! This Scottish band is new to me. The name is a bit poor really, but the artwork is absolutely great. So how then to describe their sound? It’s a raging wall of guitars, in the vein of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain or a noisy National fronted by a singer with a strong Scottish accent (I’m hesitant to say Arab Strap because it’s a little obvious), which is something of an acquired taste. They’ve been dubbed as shoegaze (or ‘nu’gaze!). But the songs are very strong, with nagging insistent refrains that bury themselves in your brain.

The opening track, Reflection of the Television is a perfect case in point. It sounds unremarkable at first, with a somewhat dull drumbeat but after a few listens it lodges itself in your head, thanks in no small measure to the wonderful noisy guitars which bleed into this track towards the end. The following track, I Became a Prostitute, is even better. It’s a little more uptempo, and the lyrics contain phrases ‘she’s bawling her eyes out’ before exploding into the chorus.

And that’s just the first 2 tracks. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. Sure they wouldn’t sound like this without listening to My Bloody Valentine, but who cares when the songs are this good? They do seriously noisy soaring choruses (Made to Disappear, The Neighbours Can’t Breathe), weird, scratchy instrumentals (Scissors), piano-led heavy pop (The Room) and rampaging rackets (That Birthday Present).

In other words, it’s bloody brilliant. Get it, listen to it, obsess over it.