The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead
- Nicola Meighan
- 1 October 2009
Bedeck Kilsyth in spandex bunting: it’s just gone down in rock mythology. The market town’s secrets, skeletons and cherry trees cast an everlasting darkness across this second, impressive album from North Lanarkshire’s loudest sons, The Twilight Sad.
The clamorous quartet’s heart-stopping yarns of domestic aversion and climbing the walls first canonised their stomping ground in 2007’s Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. Since then, however, our overwhelming melodists have taken on, toured, and seduced the world.
Has it altered their outlook? Not on this watch. Beyond references to Ballard and Godard – beneath universal themes of depravity and entanglement – The Twilight Sad’s evocative rock is embedded in a backdrop of localised small towns; houses; minds.
Hence vocalist James Graham disturbs indie blare with folklore that covertly insinuates neighbourhood bloodshed (the piano meltdown of ‘At the Burnside’, the nebulous drive of ‘Interruption’); mutilation (the brutal, brilliant, pop-propelled ‘I Became a Prostitute’); and congenital immorality (on tea-time horror-ode, ‘The Room’, a highlight which exhumes the aural volatility and nagging imagery of the band’s as-yet-unsurpassed debut).
Forget the Night Ahead reconfigures three decades of Scots rock into a fairly intransigent wall of noise: Big Country, The Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai and Arab Strap all play a part. An honorary nod goes to Wish-era Cure, and a memo goes out to Glasvegas: you wish.
The Twilight Sad’s domain remains unsettling and imperative. Let us hope they’re stadium-bound, these Central Belt harbingers of the tiny and unforgivable things that underpin our day-to-day.