Twin Atlantic – ‘Great Divide’

By Tom Beck

“Music is my therapy, I can listen to it all night long” sings Sam McTrusty just moments into the long awaited second album from Twin Atlantic. It’s with this line that the front man, whose distinctive Glaswegian vocals are still at the forefront, sums up everything that has made his band so successful over the last few years. Their raw, passionate, and hugely relatable anthems have been a cathartic influence for many. With an impressive list of tour dates ticked off since their 2011 debut ‘Free’ the band make a triumphant return with ‘Great Divide’. It’s every bit as life affirming as we hoped for too.

‘The Ones That I Love’ is a poignant and understated opening track, easing the quartet back into the groove. They then quickly smash into lead single ‘Heart and Soul’ with its infectious melody and huge foot stomping drum beat. It’s a glorious track and one which carries even more weight as part of their recent live sets. ‘Hold On’ is a euphoric moment but it’s soon shadowed by the monstrous ‘Fall Into The Party’. This is Twin Atlantic with a swagger – a cheeky intro and verse and then ripping into an instantly memorable chorus. You’ll do well to find a better rock track this summer.

The album starts with a great pace and this is taken back a few steps with the more reflective second single ‘Brothers & Sisters’. It’s another colossal track from the Glaswegians though, this time more suited to providing the soundtrack to historic sporting events and life changing moments. It’s made for a stadium full of people and that’s exactly where the band have spent the build up to this album. ‘Oceans’ in comparisons feels a touch flat and that’s partly because it’s then followed up by ‘I Am An Animal’ with its aggressive tone and sing-a-long chorus.

The tail end of the album has a tough act to follow and the eight track ‘Be A Kid’ certainly leaves a mark. It’s a slow burner that builds towards a really liberating conclusion. If anything it’s the 2014 version of fan favourite ‘Crashland’, only without the delicacy. It then shouldn’t surprise you to hear that ‘Cell Mate’ is, yet again, another impressive track. So too is ‘Actions That Echo’ for that matter. They’re both high energy stadium rock tracks with big guitar riffs. The latter has a joyous group vocal bridge that’s suddenly snatched away by one of the better outros on the album.

‘Great Divide’ closes out with the more considered ‘Why Won’t We Change’, a fitting ending to a really great album. There’s a fine balance between confidence and fragility throughout here and it’s those hints of raw emotion in Sam McTrusty’s lyrics and vocal performance that give the band their character. If music is also your therapy then you’ll find plenty of heart and support in this album.

Twin Atlantic are a shining light in the UK music scene and their success is well deserved. ‘Great Divide’ is one of the best albums we’ve heard this year and a staggering achievement for a relatively young band.

TOM BECK

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