Release Date: Aug 19, 2014
Record label: Red Bull Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo-Pop
There’s something charming about a band unafraid to aim high, and few bands sound as brazenly ambitious as Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic. On their second album they seek to distil their beloved rock’n’roll down to its constituent parts. And it’s a triumph: the way the likes of ‘Brothers And Sisters’ and ‘Be A Kid’ blossom is reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins at their bombastic and vulnerable best, while the heroic ‘Cell Mate’ and ‘Fall Into The Party’ have more than a touch of Nirvana about them.
The Marmite effect - this innocent, and altogether meaty, linguistic expression is suddenly everywhere. Our newspaper writers, politicians, and cultural figureheads are all constant abusers of the trope yet it is all too easy, considering the product’s effective “you either love it or hate it” slogan, not to apply it here too. Twin Atlantic are, after all, one of those bands that have spent their short careers trying to escape their tag as “the band you’ll either love or hate” and now with Great Divide they take one more step towards eradicating the reasons for it.
In 2009, Glaswegian quartet Twin Atlantic unleashed their first collection: mini-album Vivarium. It hinted at a great future but debut proper – Free (2011) – failed to propel them to expected heights, the catchy emo-rock doing little to stand out from the burgeoning crowd. Singer Sam McTrusty’s thick Scottish accent has arguably been the band’s biggest asset to date – comparisons with Glasvegas’ James Allan and The Proclaimers are obvious – and little changes for Great Divide.
"You can tell that the youth of today have lost their voice/ No questions, we just accept what we're taught," sings Sam McTrusty on The Ones That I Love, opening Twin Atlantic's third album. Delivered over a desolate piano, it sounds like the gateway to a Sleaford Mods-type political Molotov cocktail. However, it's unrepresentative of the chest-beating, stadium rock that follows, which has already propelled the band to festival ubiquity and on to Radio 1 playlists.
The release of Free by Twin Atlantic back in 2011 left the Scottish band on the cusps of mainstream acceptance, with a few pleasant singles and an increasingly devoted fan base signposting their inevitable rise to festival ubiquity. Now three years later, the band have given us The Great Divide , the album that should complete their transition into household names. Whether it has any right to however is a different matter altogether.