Scotland’s brooding The Twilight Sad offered a solid debut in 2007, “Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters,” an unapologetically melodramatic affair built from singer James Graham’s penetrating vocals, unmistakable with his cutting Scottish accent. The opener from that record, “Cold Days from the Birdhouse,” bleeds with an astounding emotional intensity. The band is back with its follow-up, “Forget the Night Ahead,” an even darker affair that’s unsettling and uncomfortable, but still retaining the epic nature of the band’s first disc. The easy comparison would be the work of Joy Division, as Graham and crew come off as suffering miserablists, but the sonic explosion of literally every song gives life to what would otherwise be a total downer. Actually, the record is strikingly similar to its predecessor, just a bit moodier and (somehow) more cathartic. Songs grow from the ground up until they’re a bubble awaiting burst. Some toss around the shoegaze label with this band, which is inaccurate—The Twilight Sad gives us monumental emotive rock and, while doing so, never break eye contact. (Tom Lynch)
October 12 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, (773)276-3600, at 9:30pm. $8-$12.