To coincide with the expanded edition of High Violet, The National release the album’s best track, ‘Terrible Love’. Though well-respected, The National have always courted boringness like an enemy they keep too close. But with ‘Terrible Love’ that enemy is thrown into a pit and buried alive, because wow, this track is extraordinary.

Cleverly, the guitars do little more than provide a fuzzy, shimmering backdrop to Matt Berninger’s softly intoning, baritone voice, so that when he utters, “It takes a while to settle down”, the drums explode into the track like a burning car lighting up the neighbourhood at 4am. Up to this moment every instrument is deadened and suppressed making it blindingly dramatic, intensifying the underlying euphoric paranoia of the lyrics. Berninger is walking with spiders, and, “It takes an ocean not to break.”

This song confirms The National as masters of atmosphere and suspense, and though sometimes I feel that they might be a little dull, I listen to ‘Terrible Love’ and that feeling dissipates like morning mist with the rising of the sun.

Release Date 22/11/2010 (4AD)


Chris Gilliver

I started out writing for the Manchester Evening News as a freelance journalist back in 2008. The idea that I would be given free access to music and gigs seemed somehow miraculous to me, and I proceeded to take full advantage of the situation. When the M.E.N. decided to constrict its coverage to only the very biggest bands, Simon Poole approached me with a plan to make sure that all the very talented musicians of this world that pass through and/or live in Manchester would not go unnoticed. As the New Releases editor here at Silent Radio Towers, it remains my proud duty to cast a critical eye over the music and reviews that come my way in a manner that is both supportive and fair. Above all, I strive to write as entertainingly possible. Favourite musicians include the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mercury Rev, Os Mutantes, The Knife, Beach House etc etc. I'm a firm believer that all genres (except nu-metal) contain music of great quality...