Pavement: Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal Album Review

Eventually, a compromise was reached with Kannberg leading a revised marching order that veered between outrage and candy – starting with the Beatles majesty of “Spit on a Stranger” before moving on to the banjo, stoner-Beat poetry of “Folk Jam”, then return to the austere and moving ballad of “You Are a Light”. It was Twilight Terror as we’ve known it for 22 years: an odd mix of the catchiest and most unsettling music of Pavement’s career, appropriately culminating in the charmingly ridiculous “Carrot Rope,” the indie-rock sequel to “My Ding -A-Ling” which no one other than Stephen Malkmus recognized we needed.

The vinyl edition of the new reissue restores Godrich’s original running order, and it certainly creates a different experience: one side Hawkwind and one side ELO. , but this rearrangement does not amount to improvement. As much as Malkmus and Godrich had become a creative quorum of two on the Twilight Terror sessions, it was perhaps Spiral Stairs who, at the time, saw the appeal of the grumpy band most clearly. “I’ve always tried to make the best Pavement record possible,” he wrote in his essay. And he did.

Save for periodic reunion shows, Twilight Terror signaled the end. The band toured the LP tirelessly, and live versions of the reissue find the band in top form on outtakes from everything from the band’s “Frontwards” to CCR’s “Sinister Purpose.” But Malkmus is done with Pavement as a dynamic creative force. As Steve West says in the liner notes: “I think Stephen got to that point where he wanted to move on to a different group of people and be able to play with people who were much more confident musicians. I think he did the right thing for him creatively and more power for him. And I know that was a hard thing for him to do. Maybe he could have been more cuddly about it, but he was really honest about it, and I respect him for that. It was the right time to release because this album is always creative and different.

Too creative and different to make Pavement the American Radiohead. By turns timid and insinuating, Twilight Terror was re-watched with awesome confusion and peaked at No. 95 on the Billboard Charts, a far cry from the breakthrough that would have justified the budget. Kannberg compares the record to the latest polarizing and rambling LP from The Replacements all shaken, when Paul Westerberg consolidated his agency while functionally separating his group. This comparison is true as far as it goes, even if musically it is closer to battle rock, the latest Clash album that found Joe Strummer and Mick Jones gloriously and fatally stranded between their most experimental and star-studded impulses. It remains a fascinating and ambivalent note on which to end for one of the most influential indie rock bands of their time, and this reissue, while not necessarily better than the original 1999 release, provides enough context to understand its strange bathos in a new way. It was the album that brought Pavement full circle: dressed for success, but never quite sure if they wanted the job.

All products featured on Pitchfork are independently selected by our editors. However, when you purchase something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Causeway: Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal

About Ethel Nester

Check Also

Rapper Wakko the Kidd is shot dead during a robbery in North Hollywood

An aspiring rapper who was shot multiple times in a violent North Hollywood home robbery …