If the Twilight Sad could get any darker after their 2007 debut, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, they did, with 2009’s Forget the Night Ahead. Though a touch less consistent and less of a noise/shoegaze record than their debut, it was somber, dramatic, and a marvelous second record. The first two tracks off this EP, “The Wrong Car” and “Throw Yourself into the Water Again,” are leftover from the recording sessions for Forget the Night Ahead, misfits for the time and thus reworked for this delayed release, and yet they are consistent with the style of the second record, and would be among its best if listed alongside them.

This is the first release without original bass player Craig Orzel, but the keys to this band are James Graham’s beautiful Scottish brogue and dark stories, and Andy MacFarlane’s tunneling guitar, usually a Jaguar played at full volume. And these elements are very much here, complete with a beautiful, circular, somewhat East Asian-inspired string arrangement (“The Wrong Car”) and barreling play between MacFarlane and drummer Mark Devine (“Throw Yourself in the Water Again,” which would almost fit nicely on Fourteen Autumns).

Somewhat unnecessary are the remixes of “The Room” and “Reflection of the Television,” respectively by Mogwai and Errors—the former of which captures the melancholy tone of the band but features a minimalist beat that becomes a bit distracting, the latter leaving Graham’s lyrics a focal point but losing the beauty of the original in a club beat seemingly inappropriate to the song. Any lack of interest in the remixes here aren’t so much because they’re poorly done, because they aren’t, but because the Twilight Sad is that rare group that makes a flawless song almost every time, and to alter their arrangements in any way would be doing a disservice rather than adding an unexpected spin. The band’s two studio efforts here would make a brilliant seven-inch to buy time until the next full-length record finally arrives. [FatCat]

-China Bialos



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