ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Great Divide’ by Twin Atlantic

On 14th October 2012, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner set the world record for the highest free fall jump after jumping to Earth from a height of twenty-four miles in a project known as the ‘mission to the edge of space’. Red Bull sponsored the event, and soundtracking it all was Twin Atlantic’s Free. How fitting that would turn out to be, as just under two years after that momentous day, Twin Atlantic have released their sophomore full-length Great Divide, an album that looks set to see them go stratospheric.

 Seeing as their last album was released in 2011, it wouldn’t be completely unfair to assume that Twin Atlantic would have run out of momentum between then and now, but Great Divide dispels any sort of notion, as throughout its forty-odd minute runtime, it never lets up in terms of quality even once. Opener The Ones That I Love heralds the return with a simple piano and vocal harmony line, and while not the bombastic style the band customarily partake in, it shows the much wider breadth of influences that are painted with throughout Great Divide. Lead single Heart And Soul and the pulsating Hold On are imbued with the effortlessly cool swagger of modern-day Arctic Monkeys, while Be A Kid is pure Foo Fighters ballad, and the brilliant Cell Mate even throws some rather metallic guitar work into the mix. That’s not to say that the Glasgow quartet have simply cribbed the album’s sound from a lot of much bigger bands – there’s still the undeniably Twin Atlantic heartbeat the runs throughout, aided in no small part by frontman Sam McTrusty’s instantly recognisable Scottish brogue. The songwriting also remains as what we’ve come to love from the band in the past, namely by following the ethos of big hooks and even bigger choruses. The gentle acoustic strumming of Oceans could come across as the spiritual sequel to their debut’s Crash Land, while Fall Into The Party is just vintage Twin Atlantic. Elsewhere, strings play a much larger part this time around, as in Brothers And Sisters and the crashing closing track Why Won’t We Change?, adding an extra level of grandiosity to the preceedings, not totally dissimilar to the style that fellow countrymen Biffy Clyro have adopted in recent times.
The combination of the band’s traditional ethics and a wider range of new influences to explore means that Great Divide is better than its predecessor in every conceivable way. It sounds both fresh and familiar at the same time – fresh as in new sounds are incorporated in ways that have not been done by the band previously, but familiar in that it never sounds too different or leftfield as to alienate any existing fans. In fact, Great Divide should most definitely entice new fans to Twin Atlantic’s cause, such is its huge level of accessibility, and if the band aren’t selling out arenas by the time this album cycle finishes, there’s something seriously wrong. Now, as Felix did back in 2012, it’s time for Twin Atlantic to make the jump.
For fans of: Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Aereogramme
Words by Luke Nuttall

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