The Twilight Sad: The Twilight Sad

The Twilight Sad's debut EP opens in a wheezy folk-accordion style with James Graham's thick brogue immediately hinting at the band's Glasgow origins. But two minutes in, “But When She Left, Gone Was the Glow” detonates in a distorted firestorm of scarred guitars and drums, announcing that the quartet (formed in 2003 and rounded out by guitarist Andy MacFarlane, bassist Craig Orzel, and drummer Mark Devine) is perhaps more comfortable stoking a fierce howl than it playing a gentle ballad. Graham's delivery subtly hints at Morrissey in “That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy,” which likewise escalates to an impassioned roar in its chorus, and, at moments, the blistering “And She Would Darken the Memory of Youth” brings back memories of The Smiths' glory days. The most anomalous song, the pounding chant “Last Year's Rain Didn't Fall Quite So Hard,” sounds like its barreling up from an underground cavern, so huge is its reverb. At day's end, you'll remember the songs' potent hooks but you'll remember the tidal wave of guitar noise even more. Hold on for dear life, for example, when the guitar chorus majestically combusts during the nine-minute closer “Three Seconds of Dead Air.” Here and elsewhere, the guitars swell to such a gargantuan, hornet's nest pitch, the material feels primed to explode. Though a mere 25 minutes in length, The Twilight Sad makes for an incredible and intense experience.

December 2006