Review Summary: Channeling post-punk melancholy lends an even darker tint to The Twilight Sad's drawn-out sound.
If 2009's Forget The Night Ahead
dragged The Twilight Sad's afternoon soundscapes kicking and screaming into cutting, sinister darkness, then No One Can Ever Know
goes three steps further down that pitch-black country lane and threatens to detach the band from humanity entirely. The Scottish outfit's 2012 offering shares many of its pre-decessor's charming qualities - it's drawn out, dramatic, and surprisingly infectious in a really disconcerting sort of way - but its undertones of Joy Division melancholy give it a new slant which one would struggle to call fresh simply because it's so damn downbeat.
Indeed, what beauty there is on No One Can Ever Know
is trapped underneath waves of doubt and introspection; gone, for sure, are the pianos of Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters
and the crackles of tenderness that accompanied Forget The Night Ahead
's brand of distortion. The guitars here are somehow colder, the beats more methodical, the motifs less brooding and more immediately dangerous. Vocalist James Graham leads the march, threatening that there's only one way this is gonna end
on "Nil" in his most enigmatic moment, but there are plenty to choose from.
And though the post-punk stylings of these echo-filled rooms fail to nail their atmospheric subtleties to quite
the same degree as Forget The Night Ahead
's brooding contemplation, that's no real qualm at all. Though it never explodes, No One Can Ever Know
comes to its unnerving climaxes at just the right points and feels in its own right like a totally cohesive recording of something dark and unforgivable. Just don't ask what.