[sic] Magazine

The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

It happens quickly for some bands. They get noticed and then they get ambitious. Others take more time. This fifth studio long player is The Twilight Sad‘s ‘change up’ moment. It Won/t Be Like This All the Time packs many a punch and isn’t holding back. This time they’re aiming big.

Since 2014’s Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave the band has spent months on tour with The Cure playing some of the biggest and most famous venues in the world. It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate target audience. Whilst pleased for them, many of the core fanbase wondered how this exposure might influence the eventual follow up. Would ‘the Sad’ go down the ‘cheesy single’ route? Would they sell out? The new album would likely be a pivotal moment for the band one way or another.

So how is it? The three promotional songs ‘VTr’, ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’ and ‘Videograms’ arguably encapsulate what the whole record is trying to do, namely, step up the pace without leaving anyone behind. They’ve noticeably beefed up and pulled out all the stops this time but happily the only thing they are ‘selling out’ are their own tour dates. ‘[10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs]’ presents a manic, pulsating start to the album and there are few, if any, downward shifts in gear thereafter. Distinct nods can be found toward new label landlords Mogwai, Cocteau Twins and even Brian Eno. All ticks in the right boxes.

It also still sounds distinctly them, easing the fears of some followers. The Twilight Sad have previously flickered between Post Punk, Shoegaze and Angst Rock on past releases. This one brings everything together. As such IWBLTATT plays like a career-spanning compilation of the bands bigger statements of intent. There isn’t a duff track on offer and yet there is something lacking here and it is tough to put a finger on what exactly. Aside from the truly beautiful ‘Sunday Day13’ the album is rather one-paced. (i.e. Relentlessly high octane.) I needed more space, more heart. Yet James Graham’s lyrics are as raw and open as any time I can recall.

Feelings? These go up to eleven!

I’m put in mind of other ‘expansive’ albums such as Doves Last Broadcast or Interpols Our Love To Admire. Everything seems present and correct on IWBLTATT. Why then don’t I love it like previous efforts? Maybe they’ve outgrown me? Maybe this breakthrough moment is closing one chapter as it opens another? Like a proud parent it could simply be time to let The Twilight Sad go their own way? I will miss holding their little hands but it is the right thing to do.

An album to be admired rather than loved.
Yet still a seriously good one.

Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave