Review – Twilight City Fracture – “Exist”

Twilight City Fracture - "Exist"

Rating: 74%

If there was such a thing as post-hardcore shoegaze, Twilight City Fracture certainly would fit the bill. Their latest EP, “Exist,” is drowned in nostalgia yet works at carving out a relevance all its own. To grossly oversimplify their sound, think somewhere between Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” and Jawbreaker’s “Oh Dear.” “Dear You.”

Regardless of whether that comparison frightened or excited you, I recommend giving these guys a good listen, because they have me convinced that I should rise up and fight against the daily oppression of my relatively sheltered life.

I used Benatar because somehow Twilight’s sound manages to transport me to those fake late-80’s Hollywood city sets, where hipsters (before they were called hipsters) would dance around the lead singer at night, for no apparent reason, celebrating their suburban liberation around flaming trash cans and abandoned shopping carts. After the first couple of listens, I immediately wanted to go and watch Lost Boys and Toy Soldiers back-to-back, but I decided to write this review instead.

As far as I can tell, Twilight City Fracture are a local band from Lacey Township, New Jersey, who are gaining some notoriety. “Exist,” was put together with veteran producer Jesse Cannon (Saves the Day, The Cure, Tiger Mountain), and I have to say, the sound is tight and consistent across each of these five tracks. Special props go out to the clever use of guitar, sometimes eliciting a punk rock vibe, while other times transporting me into the cosmos where I watch down upon a post-apocalyptic Earth in ruins.

Twilight City Fracture - "Exist"

If I dig beneath the fuzzy electric guitars and crashy percussion, I can glimpse other influences as well. The way they put harmonies together seem to break that post-hardcore mold enough to earn a shoegaze or dream pop subtitle. More Twilight Sad than Grizzly Bear, though; more Mogwai than Sigur Rós.

The lead off track, “Edward”, plays like an anthem for the thirty-something broken-hearted. A rally cry intended to soothe the inner gen-exer in us all. Before the guitar kicks in in the first few seconds, I thought I had accidentally hit play on the latest Arms & Sleepers album. “Legend on Louisiana,” rises and falls like a stormy sea, and has a spacey undercurrent running through its veins to allure the non Jets to Brazil regime.

Wrestling the proverbial inner-demon while channeling those feelings in the form of borderline over-emotive music seems to be Twilight’s mainstay on this album. They tread a thin wire, however, and flashes of the trite slip in here and there. Lines like “maybe wonder why the media has your mind turned upside down,” feel more like Fall Out Boy excerpts than something substantial. Others, such as “I’ve seen through the devil’s eyes and I’m going blind,” are too literal to be taken seriously. If they can forego some of this blatancy in favor of something a little more abstract and poetic, I can see these guys gaining even more of a following.

There is a collective “WE” spanning these songs which only reinforces that collective angst I was mentioning earlier. But instead of “we belong to the night,” here you have “we look out for the signs,” and “we’ve been in this world with only red’s and blue’s,” and “we’ve been lost in the catacombs in our heads.”

To get a better idea of the band’s evolution, I snuck around the Information Superhighway™ and found a couple of older demos from these guys… and I have to say, I’m really glad they eschewed that conformist, proto-screamo sound in favor of this post-hardcore shoegaze genre I’ve invented for them. There might not be something for everyone, but their reach definitely seems wide enough now to garner the interest of a larger nucleus, myself included.

Mp3. “Edward”
Mp3. “Legend on Louisiana”

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“Review – Twilight City Fracture – “Exist””