Berkley, CA’s Sarchasm and Knoxville, TS’s Bad Idols have come together on the Splits & Ladders split album that features…
Civil Twilight – Self Titled
Self Titled - Wind Up Records
Civil Twilight is a band that does little more than evoke comparisons to iconic super groups that they will never match. The Cape Town, South African-based trio pull their sound right from the pages of U2’s early singles and draw disappointing likeness to the slow rock of Pilot Speed. Taken together, Civil Twilight’s self-titled full length delivers a very safe, very unremarkable debut.
Heavy on the reverb and big on the stadium filling vocals, Civil Twilight mopes along with a slow, glowing ambience. Guitars loiter and fade against Steven McKellar’s solemn groan, the band dawning piano keys that merely tease out forgettable ballads. “Human” in particular drones along both vocally and instrumentally for four weighty minutes matched only by the hollow beat and vocal indulgence of “Perfect Stranger.” From here Civil Twilight rinse and repeat, offering the same echoic vacancy punctuated with the same twinkly leading chords that I could describe as little more than inconsequential.
Even when the band attempts rocking out, their songs would do little more than deliver a ostentatious lightshow at a theatre venue. The drawn out guitar loops on “Dry Run,” for instance, might make some flashy visual theatrics against a shadowy scene, but on disc their characterless execution merely bogs down an already uninspiring pace.
“Quiet In My Town” evidences glimmers of sincerity in its simple, lonely guitar, but one track alone can’t make up for the weight of thirteen disappointments.
Civil Twilight simply lacks a sound to call its own. I just can’t hear anything but radio-hunting imitation. Instead, this stand-alone first effort comes across as a targeted ploy for career advancement rather than a sincere case of artistic expression. Civil Twilight may be well produced and musically workable, but it lacks heart.