In one sense, No One Can Ever Know already was a Twilight Sad remix album: The Scottish shoegazers didn’t alter their songwriting approach much, but traded geysers of distorted guitars for sleek synthesizer textures and the cavernous, warm production of Peter Katis for the guidance of dance maven Andy Weatherall. It’s a rewarding listen largely because it keeps Twilight Sad’s strongest traits at the forefront, namely James Graham’s compelling brogue and a keen ability to create hackles-raising tension at any volume.
Those are largely jettisoned for No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes and, like nearly all indie rock remix records, you might initially scoff at its mere existence. At the very least, it shows Twilight Sad’s commitment to electronic music in a way the original LP couldn’t or wouldn’t. Working with only four of the original LP’s nine tracks, most of the charges herein expand their portfolio by giving us exactly what you’d expect from them, whether or not they were working with a Twilight Sad track. Com Truise turns in a typically VHS-retro rendering of “Sick,” Liars take the most Liars-esque of the originals (“Nil”) and applies another coat of murky grey, while Brokenchord go for glitchy deconstruction. The JD Twitch/Optimo instrumental remix of “Alphabet” is the most radical of the remixes, but it begs the question of why or how a Twilight Sad song can exist without Graham.
It all makes for a record that might actually be more of interest to people who haven’t heard the original or found issue with Twilight Sad’s instantly recognizable traits. For everyone else, The Remixes functions better as a peer evaluation rather than a guide to their future endeavors.