Cape Town’s three-piece rock outfit Civil Twilight (Weakerthan’s reference?) is earnest and endearing, moving to Los Angeles to exhilarate its live act career, then to the East Coast to record their debut album, Human, out now on One October Entertainment. And, after listening to the evocative and determined release, this journey embarked upon by Steven McKellar (Vox/Bass/Piano/Guitar), Andrew McKellar (Guitar) and Richard Wouters (Drums & Percussion) seems almost necessary.
Just listen to the heated jaunts of “Solider,” the piano-tinged balladry of title track “Human,” and passionate collisions of closing track “Quiet in My Town.” Human is a rich and diverse landscape trodden with lingering plucks, tense but lissom melodies and archetypal lyrics of love, war, pain and peace (“What is this I feel? Why is it so real? / What am I to say? / It’s only love. It’s only pain. / It’s only fear that runs through my veins. / It’s all the things we can’t explain / That make us human,” McKeller whirrs on “Human”). The only downfall to the record – the unambiguous Thom Yorke influence on McKellar’s vocals. But that can easily be overlooked as Civil Twilight stands strongly on its own with strong hooks and rhythmic undertakings.
–Annamarya Scaccia [April 28, 2008]