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Song by Song -
Anyone - Here and
gone in a brisk 2:21, “Anyone” is a raucous, full-throttle
garage rocker reminiscent of Joe Strummer and the Clash. Furious
drums and bass anchor intense call-and-response vocals, stop-and-start
choruses and blistering lead guitar lines.
If Only - A hypnotic, steadily evolving folk-rocker that begins
as a heartfelt acoustic lament before throwing open the doors
on a southern gospel revival and eventually climaxing in a
crescendo of dissonant guitar riffs and soaring three-part
harmonies. Or, simply put, the Carter Family does Zeppelin.
Helicopter - A stripped-down, no-frills, roadhouse rocker
with bravado and swagger reminiscent of the Stones and Faces.
The loose playfulness, strutting bass line and sing-along
chorus make “Helicopter” a perfect radio showcase
and provides a shiny glimpse of the energy and intensity that
are the staples of a Twilight Revival live show.
Devil’s Crutch - A rowdy bar room stomper reminiscent
of the heyday of the Midwestern AltCountry scene. A chimey,
spirited rocker full of angst, regret and accusation.
Madison - When the British were preparing to attack Washington
D.C. in what would be known as the War of 1812, President
James Madison fled the capital while his wife stayed behind
to rescue artifacts and national heirlooms from the White
House before they went up in flames. 200 years later, Twilight
Revival’s “Madison" is a stream of consciousness
imagining of the president’s final days and
a tribute to the first lady who stayed behind.
Taquito - Inappropriately titled, booze-soaked pop gem in
the vein of Paul Westerberg. Subtle interplay between acoustic
guitar and dueling vocals gives way to a fierce, violent chorus
. . . giving the sense that these guys are probably right
at home in that "dirty corner of the bar" they're
Dealing in Integers - Shifts gears constantly but never loses
its focus, from dirty power chord garage rock, to sparse vocal
lament, to dissonant “dark and light” chorus,
to dueling guitar interlude and eventual wailing, all-out
rock n’ roll catharsis. “Dealing In Integers”
is an example of just how many good ideas this band has, that
they can afford to pack a half-dozen of them into a 3-minute
Singalong - A somber, understated tribute to the “pretty
songs” and those who survive them. Once again, the band
is found shape-shifting but always with a sense of purpose
– gentle acoustic strums frame fragile vocal harmonies
while hypnotic, rolling drum beats and a wall of guitars pierce
through the silences. A sense of disquiet and unease contradicts
the affirmation that is the core of the song’s lyrical
message -- as though even the band questions it. But
in the end, the pieces fit and, appropriately, the music is
the saving grace that pulls the pretty song out of the darkness.
Fields - Revealing a slightly sinister side to Twilight Revival
in its exploration of shadows and secrets, the quiet foreboding
beneath the surface of "Fields" may carry some hint
as to the lyrical ambiguity of the entire album . . .
"I never told the story and I ain't gonna start now."
The vocals snarl with desperation and urgency while a menacing
lead guitar stirs chaos amid the minor-key guitar riff and
fluid 3/4 march before the whole thing ignites in a thundering,
May Tomorrow Be Better - Vibrato guitars and three-part harmonies lend
beauty to the sparse opening, recalling vintage AM radio.
Soon, the bottom drops and a tribal vocal melody emerges beneath
all-hell-breaks-loose dissonance in the form of spastic drum
crashes and caterwauling guitar hum, eventually revealed to
be a transition to the song (and album’s) gorgeous and
graceful final blessing -- a Beggar’s Banquet-style
folk farewell. Better, indeed.