The National return with their follow up to 2010’s ‘High Violet” with the ominious yet tantalisingly titled ‘Trouble will find me’.
There is a certain degree of expectation with a National record after over a decade of racking up a back catalogue of impeccable, seminal and acclaimed releases. Most famously known for records such as ‘Sad Songs For Dirty Lover’s’ and ‘Boxer’,The National though not the most notorious are potentially the most esteemed band in their genre and have raised the bar for themselves to a significantly skybound height. ‘Trouble will find me’ does not dissapoint displaying their usual marriage of deft and dexterous indie laced with all the bitter sweet melancholic delight that the band are famed for.
‘Sea of Love’, the album’s leading single is an exquiste anthem of regret and dissapointment a theme that is carried throughout from opening track ‘Live in Salt’. Both tracks boast a haunting intimacy and frankness though it is ‘Sea of Love’ that is lyrically and musically the records strongest track. With it’s searing dirty guitar riffs, vigourous drumming and enviable execution of the loud/quiet dynamic that frankly flaws the listener, it is a triumph and testament to the band. Boasting lines such as ‘If I stay here, trouble will find me’ and the heartbreakingly apologetic ‘Hey child sorry I hurt you but they say, love is a virtue don’t they,’ it rivals if not betters their most beloved songs such as ‘Fake Empire’ and ‘Mistaken for strangers’
Other stand out tracks include the mind blowingly awesome yet delicate and understated ‘This is the last time’, an unlikely love song about the throes of falling for the wrong person and the sweet ‘I need my Girl’ . More charged songs on the album such as ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’ and ‘Graceless’ are reminiscent of Arcade Fire and with it all their intricate brilliance.
Though born form the ashes of the late 90’s post punk scene, taking influence from everything from Americana to Country, The National remain untainted by comparison and have retained a uniqueness and integrity that manages to produce incredible and captivating records time after time and ‘Trouble will find me’ is no exception to the rule.