by Jack Diablo
Label: FatCat Records
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Don’t look now but there is a Scottish Invasion gathering force, ready to cross the pond and poised to take over the American sound-waves. As ominous as it may sound, I assure you that this is nothing to fear, nor is it an idle threat. In fact, it’s possibly one of the best things to happen to indie music this year.
Facilitating this “invasion” of sorts is none other than Brighton, England’s FatCat Records, home to pre-Strawberry Jam Animal Collective and a host of indie, experimental and post-rock bands. The Twilight Sad could be said to be the embodiment of the FatCat ethos as they combine elements of all three genres. Their sophomore full-length, Forget the Night Ahead is a tasty sampling of what could very well be the future of indie rock.
The album begins with ‘Reflection of the Television,’ a song that gets played every time a certain friend of mine rides shotgun in my car. The noisy guitars and tom-tom intro could fit right into a Young Widows track, but where Young Widows would get even more dissonant and border-line post-hardcore, the Twilight Sad add a little more melody and atmosphere to the mix, but just a pinch. Much like tour and label-mates We Were Promised Jetpacks, the vocals maintain singer James Graham’s heavy Scottish accent. The effect is a certain spacey darkness that pervades the tone of the entire album. Before the vocals drop in ‘I Became A Prostitute,’ the tremolo guitar intro could fool you into classifying this band as post-rock, but it’s an influence more so than a strict adherence to genre conventions. ‘Seven Years of Letters’ is the catchiest tune on the album but stays true to the band’s noise and experimental roots whereas tracks like ‘Scissors’ with it’s instrumental noise and ‘Floorboards Under the Bed’ are true nods to the band’s genesis of experimenting with tape loops, theremins and toy keyboards before they recorded their first song.
The list of bands that the Twilight Sad has supported on previous tours is a testament to their wide-spread appeal. From mainstream acts like Snow Patrol, to the Americana of Mich P. Hinson to the post-rock powerhouse Mogwai, they have wowed audiences of every persuasion. The aforementioned invasion kicks into full gear as they tour the US with fellow Scots FatCat-ers We Were Promised Jetpacks and Frightened Rabbit. Catch the action on the front line when they storm Orlando’s the Social on September 29th.
Album Review: The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead
by Jack Diablo