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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Twilight Sad
The Twilight Sad
FatCat

Rating: 8/10 ?


January 15, 2007
Caught up in the tumult of The Twilight Sad's glorious shoegazer-esque storms, like debris in a tornado, are stories of troubled childhoods, tortured memories of loss and abandonment, and secrets kept hidden for years and years. An outpouring of emotion this powerful needs weighty music to carry it, and this Glasgow, Scotland foursome lifts with its legs, breeding Belle And Sebastian's lithe folk-pop with the dark anguish of Arab Strap and the noisy, blurred guitar squalls of My Bloody Valentine or Mogwai.

It seems to go against nature, this pitting against each other of two wholly different genres within the confines of a single song, a methodology The Twilight Sad uses throughout this five-song, self-titled EP. And at times, like in the droney opener "But When She Left, Gone Was The Glow," the transition from soft, confessional Scottish folk tradition to loud, swirling sound is a little abrupt and not altogether seamless, but that's the exception, not the rule with The Twilight Sad.

Acknowledging the band';s split personality, guitarist Andy MacFarlane, bassist Craig Orzel, singer James Graham and drummer Mark Devine fuses varied instrumention together to craft reflective, comforting pop sounds and loud episodes of noisy vertigo. It's as if this quieter twin - the one lost in thought and bruised by disappointment - walks into its more tormented sibling's room and gets engulfed by a sonic backdraft from a screaming mouth. Heady stuff, indeed, from a band steeped in the literary tradition of Frank McCourt and Charles Dickens, and fluent in the alien musical language of shoegazer masters.

Not since Loveless has indie-rock witnessed such beautiful, dreamy maelstroms of multi-layered guitar effects. The heavy, radiant ending of "But When She Left, Gone Was The Glow," with its crashing drums, ringing echo and wild gnashing of chords, establishes a pattern for The Twilight Sad. It goes like this: begin with some softly building combination of understated percussion and wooly blankets of accordion or fluttering, shooting-star guitar - all produced by Andy MacFarlane - and then unleash gales of noise. All the while, James Graham's light Scottish brogue and deep vocals, which sound suspiciously like Interpol's Paul Banks, add glowing nuance to heartbreaking tales of woe, stories he tells with a voice imbued with both a weary sadness and a resolute will. Breaking the mold is the wintery "Last Year's Rain Didn't Fall Quite So Hard," with its snowy mix of sleigh bells and deliberate piano, which bleeds into "And She Would Darken The Memory Of Youth," a thunderous bloodletting that starts out with that distant, vintage atmosphere that The Walkmen seem to summon on a whim and turns into a Kevin Shields-like whiteout. There's more where that came from.

Elements of Joy Division creep into The Twilight Sad's formulaic melancholy like a squatter and live in the quartet's consciousness, and it's hard to ignore with this quartet that sense of deja vu, that feeling you get by the fifth and final song that you've heard this all before. But every time those never-ending, awe-inspiring crescendos crash over you like a series of rogue waves, you forget all about that negative criticism you're just waiting to level at The Twilight Sad. It's buried under sheets of turbulent noise, the kind you expect to hear when Armageddon arrives, like that which closes the book on the finale, "Three Seconds Of Dead Air." There will be dead air from The Twilight Sad until the LP they're working on arrives, and when it does, we'll have to rebuild the levees that'll surely buckle in the flood of emotions and surging power The Twilight Sad creates.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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