the twilight sad forget the night ahead
  • THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2009

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Taking over the "wall of sound" for the songwriter, The Twilight Sad's second album Forget The Night Ahead guarantees them a spot at the helm of the experimental/prog rock flagship. Channeling the contrasting ups and downs of Explosions in the Sky and peppered with repetitive songwriter lyrics, The Sad have brought together two aspects of the musical world that are long overdue for a little harmony.

While sophomore efforts are often disappointing, the Sad have trampled those odds with heavier guitars, noisier percussion, less screaming and more singing, and overall higher fidelity. Moving on from their style of slow build-up and sudden anthematic explosions, the majority of the songs on Forget The Night come out swinging within the first thirty seconds, leaving little room for anything but dynamic variation as opposed to ascent. Most notable in this arena is the album single, "I Became a Prostitute," consisting of epic, minor-key guitar choruses combined with (somewhat) cleaner verses, giving Graham's cryptic yet tragic lyrics the attention they deserve. Other honorable mentions in this category include "The Neighbors Can't Breathe" with blaring refrains, periodically dissolving only enough to highlight the haunting gain leads which run underneath the verses and pre-choruses, and "Made To Disappear" which may be the only track to effectively mix the heavy instrumentals with the relatively bare vocals.

That, of course, is the expected drawback to the Sad's evolution: there was never a realistic way to step the noise up even a notch from 2007's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters without losing some of Graham's songwriting in the mix. The gain is just too high and with constant crash cymbals droning over the tops of the climbs and choruses, even the most accomplished producer would have a time of it trying to pull Graham's vocals out of the fray.

To demonstrate such steady yet substantial growth in only two years and two albums resonates as remarkable only because more bands don't seem to have the wherewithal to do it. If The Twilight Sad stay on the track they're currently treading, they will undoubtedly be remembered in the experimental/prog rock hall of fame, assuming the genre itself can withstand the test of time.

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