The Twilight Sad Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters

There are times when trying to come up with reference points seems almost pointless because they don’t capture that first moment of hearing a particular band, and this is the case with the Twilight Sad. Imagining they’re the precocious offspring of Arab Strap, Mogwai and the Arcade Fire after a drunken threesome might help because they are Scottish and they do make wonderfully noisy, enigmatic music, but that still doesn’t feel quite right. Their self-titled EP snuck out at the end of last year, instantly hooking anyone who was fortunate enough to hear it, but the Twilight Sad are a bolt from the blue. Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters somehow arrives with next to no fanfare yet it manages to surpass all the other records from the Eastern side of the Atlantic that make their way over here accompanied by the now-redundant NME stamp of approval. It’s a draining album to listen to, but in a good way. It isn’t possible to hear without getting fully enveloped by it all — the songs just get bigger and bigger, with walls of noise, but it manages to hang together in a beautiful, chaotic mess. Add to that the troubling lyrics about dying rabbits and children on fire and Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters becomes impossible to ignore. In the end, maybe it is just safer to say that this is one of the best albums of 2007 and it would be an absolute crime to let this slip by unnoticed. (Fat Cat)