ver the last 9 years Twin Atlantic have slowly been climbing the rock ladder. Their most recent record, 2014’s Great Divide, was their most successful yet, much of which was due to hit singles ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and ‘Heart and Soul’, the latter of which reached number 17 in the UK chart. So where do you go from here then, Twin? The simplest solution would be to continue in the same vain and edge ever closer to becoming The 1975. Instead of this, GLA contains some of the heaviest and most danceable music Twin Atlantic have ever recorded.
After the Great Divide Tour, the band weren’t sure what would follow. The decision the band made was to create whatever they wanted with the shackles off. Inspiration came in the form of their hometown of Glasgow and it clearly paid off. At the third attempt Twin Atlantic have managed to create their most exciting record yet. Across 12 tracks we are treated to bluesy riffs and boy-band choruses in equal measure and, in the words of Sam McTrusty, the band sounding their most dangerous.
GLA is an incredibly fun rock record
The album opens with the brilliantly titled ‘Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator’, and it’s a thrilling statement of intent. Sam McTrusty screams and shouts savage lines like “pull my sunken eyes out” over mechanical-sounding guitars. This is followed by the album’s lead single, ‘No Sleep’ which continues in this vain, but the opening two tracks are not representative of the whole album.
Although GLA feels like a somewhat of a departure, the sound of their previous albums do still linger. ‘Overthinking’ and ‘The Chaser’ are the songs that most recall the Great Divide and a few tracks contain Sam McTrusty’s screams that haven’t really been heard since debut mini-album Vivarium.
‘Whispers’ is a colossal, Biffy Clyro-esque pop song. The hook of “all I hear are whispers” is perfectly enclosed by a simple but powerful riff, and lyrics like “I’ve put family in the ground this year” make it the most heart-rendering track on the record.
But the real gem from GLA is ‘Ex El’ and it’s among the greatest things Twin have ever recorded. The track opens with buzzing synths and a frustrated Sam McTrusty sings that “people scream until you listen to them” and that he “wouldn’t want to listen”. These verses sandwich a typically stadium-ready Twin Atlantic chorus and the bridge sounds as though it could have been lifted straight off of Vivarium.
GLA is an incredibly fun rock record. You won’t find any frills or pretention here; that’s just not what Twin are about. And in 2016, that’s a great thing for a rock album to be.