Twin Atlantic are a lucky band. Looking over their history of just 4 years, the West Scottish four-piece have landed slots supporting bands as prestigious as Smashing Pumpkins and Blink-182, as well as a tour with fellow countrymen Biffy Clyro. So far it seems they have made all the right moves and have achieved moderate success. But, as of yet, their music hasn’t quite pushed them fully in to the mainstream. Lucky for them, ‘Free’ looks set to give them that final boost.
With Sam McTrusty‘s heavy Scottish accent, it would be easy to compare Twin Atlantic‘s sound to that of Biffy and The Xcerts, but really the sound of his voice is where the comparisons end (apart from a suspiciously Biffy-esque outro on ‘The Ghost Of Eddie’, but we’ll give them that one). Their music is direct power pop with a hard alternative edge, and ‘Free’ is the perfect showcase for their infectious noise.
The album begins with lead single ‘Edit Me’, a perfect show opener with a great loud/quiet dynamic and explosive chorus. The one-two punch of ‘Time For You To Stand Up’ and ‘Apocalyptic Renegades’ follows, providing genuine thrills and an impressive vocal performance from McTrusty, ‘Apocalyptic…’ shining particularly brightly. Then there’s ‘Yes, I Was Drunk’, a quieter number that bristles with restrained intensity that makes the final release in the last chorus all the more satisfying.
After four killer tracks in a row, the bluesy and slightly sloppy style of ‘Dreamember’ doesn’t quite hit its mark and stands as one of the weaker tracks on the album, but it’s soon over, subsiding to the glory that is the title track. ‘Free’ is the best track on the album, with a masterfully written, gradually building verse that leads to a great, soaring payoff in the chorus. If Twin Atlantic are able to write a few more songs like this, they will be massive. However, having such a powerful song in the middle of the album makes what follows feel like somewhat of an anti-climax. ‘Crash Land’ is another quiet one that just over stays its welcome, and ‘The Ghost Of Eddie’, with its off-kilter guitar noise and awkward chorus-outros feel misplaced in amongst the other tracks.
The album recovers towards the end though, with a final future-mainstream hit ‘Eight Days’, showing their optimistic side, which is them wonderfully contrasted with ‘Wonder Sleeps Here’, a serious, downcast ballad in the same vein as ‘Futures’-era Jimmy Eat World.
In a scene filled with very similar bands peddling perfectly amicable but relatively uninspired music, Twin Atlantic might just be able to separate themselves from the crowd with‘Free’. For such a young band to produce material as strong as this is surely a sign that they will hit it big in the not too distant future. Strongly recommended.
Written by Grant Bailey