Update: This show has been canceled.
“I hate happy people who go about smiling all the time, pretending that life’s great,” said The Twilight Sad’s James Graham in a 2008 interview. It doesn’t sound like the frontman has changed his mind since then. With two albums of excellent, emotive shoegaze under its belt, the Scottish band returns with another dreary, grim record—except No One Can Ever Know favors moody synths over guitar squall. It’s less My Bloody Valentine and more midperiod Nine Inch Nails, particularly on the track “Kill It in the Morning.” Graham’s lyrics, though, remain as dark and twisted as anything from the band’s 2007 debut. “So sick to death of the sight of you now/safe to say I never wanted you more,” he wails on “Alphabet.” Live, the band is both melancholy and eardrum-burstingly loud—engrossing, but don’t let on to Graham that you’re having a good time.
The Twilight Sad performs with Forest Fire and Micah P Hinson at 7 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $12. rockandrollhoteldc.com. (202) 388-7625.