As soon as you hear There’s A Girl In The Corner, the opening track on The Twilight Sad’s third album Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave, you are instantly immersed in a wall of noise that draws you in, spins you round and fires you out at the other end of the song, bewildered and energised. It’s a mighty start to what is a great album; in parts The Cure, in others Radiohead, PIL or even Ride, all held together by James Graham’s powerful vocals which are the real star throughout this record.
The band profess to be “folk with layers of noise” but that description barely scratches the surface. This is a hugely powerful album. The music alone is moving; dense, squalling, feedback laden in places but full of emotion. It’s widescreen stuff and wouldn’t sound out of place in any size of arena. There’s clear post punk influence at play on tracks like I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want or Last January where the mixture of primitive sounding electronics and angular guitars is instantly redolent of all the best the post punk era could offer. The band’s sound has progressed in a really impressive way on this album and the influences that I hear really compliment their already well established sound. This is a fuller sounding album than previous releases but that’s in part due to the production which is claustrophobic in places but stunningly so.
Funnily enough, picking a standout track for you to sample is quite tricky as this is an album that is best heard as a whole work. In Nowheres is an interesting song mixing an almost pop like melody and synth sound with a dense, dense wall of noise and reverb and certainly deserves to be heard. The title track is a cracker too starting off like a stuttering drum machine which is suddenly interrupted by another cacophony of guitars. The aforementioned There’s a Girl In The Corner may well be the best place to start and not just because it’s track 1; it’s as good an example of the brilliance at play here as any other track on the album. Title aside, Pills I Swallow lightens the mood musically with its’ mix of Johnny Marr sounds and Gary Numan like synth sounds but the overall feel is retained with the portentous vocal part.
Like their previous works, Nobody… is fairly hard to categorise or define but that’s certainly no bad thing. The Twilight Sad are a unique band and all the better for it. They deserve the acclaim and success of contemporaries Frightened Rabbit and they will no doubt get it , but it will be on their own terms and with albums like this one, that will be richly deserved.
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