ALBUM: Twin Atlantic – Vivarium

Release Date: September 14th, 2009
Label: Red Bull Records


Mini-album, massive results! Glaswegian four-piece Twin Atlantic have exploded into the alternative rock scene after finally breaking free from their emo shackles with ‘Vivarium’. After releasing their EP ‘A Guidance From Colour’ back in 2008 and gaining a rise of followers, the band’s debut record can only guarantee them even more. Touring with the likes of Biffy Clyro and Taking Back Sunday over the summer, the band’s sound has clearly been influenced by their touring comrades, but the power chord savvy sound remains solely intact.

Blasting through just over 30 minutes the band has stamped their authority on the rock scene with one of the most exciting records this year. Album opener ‘Light Speed’ kicks off proceedings with its catchy as hell chorus and guitar riffs as vocalist Sam McTrusty belts the hook “Lightspeed, lightspeed! / They’re never gonna get us all / They’re never gonna set us free”. Considering Twin Atlantic‘s associated music genre being covered in an ever growing stars and stripes flag, it’s a pleasure to hear a vocalist that sings in his native accent. McTrusty‘s clear Scottish twang shines in songs such as ‘Old Gray Face’ and ‘Better Weather’ which gifts the sound with a much more genuine feel.

Coincidentally, second single ‘You’re Turning Into John Wayne’ is an angst ridden song about bands who force an American accent when singing. With intelligent lyrics and the perfect blend of melody throughout, ‘…John Wayne’ is the real gem in the album, showcasing a band that have matured and polished their sound to make explosive results. Echoes of Biffy Clyro sound out in the oddly named ‘Caribbean War Syndrome’ with its ominous sounding guitar effects sweeping from melody to mayhem, reaffirming the band’s overwhelming potential and promise. Hooks come thick and fast in the form of earlier single ‘Audience And Audio’, which is easily a potential future teenage anthem packed with ferocity and energy.

With only eight tracks, ‘Vivarium’ is hardly a long record which is its biggest weakness, but acting as a double-edged sword it’s also their biggest advantage. When breathtaking album closer ‘Better Weather’ ends you can’t help but want more out of the band. It’s both comforting and exciting to realise that this is a band can only get better, and go on to release more incredible material.

They certainly have the look and passion of a band that is destined to sell many records, but because of their ‘mini-album’ debut, Twin Atlantic may be overlooked this year. But they can certainly look forward to better weather in the future.

Written by Sean Edwards