Since releasing their debut album Free, Twin Atlantic have sold out O2 Academy shows up and down the UK on their own headline tours, played to thousands upon thousands of people at summer festivals including home shows for them in the form of T In The Park, supported Blink-182 and 30 Seconds To Mars in arenas across Europe AND supported Kings of Leon in stadiums across Europe. With all of that success off the back of one great album surely the next one must knock them down a level, right?
Wrong. With Great Divide, Twin make it clear that Free was just them finding their feet and their niche and showing that they can write a couple of anthems (note the album’s namesake Free and also Make A Beast of Myself). If you thought Free was an impressive album, the band’s new release will blow everything out of the water.
From the release of the first single from the album – Heart and Soul – a few months ago, it became clear that Great Divide was not just going to be Free part II. Heart and Soul is definitely one of the stand out tracks on the album and for many it has been the song of the summer – becoming the first Twin Atlantic single to reach the top 20 in the charts. The only words that can fully describe it are “massive” and “tune”. It branches into a section of British rock that breaks Twin Atlantic away from the mediocre and settles them nicely in with the elite.
With a leading single like this it’d be expected that the rest of the album couldn’t keep up but that is definitely not the case. Other tracks which stand out to have the potential to get fans filling up venues and belting out their lungs include Hold On, Fall Into The Party, and I Am An Animal – all of which contain baffling guitar riffs and drum beats. Album closer Why Won’t We Change also stands out as a potential fan favourite.
Sam McTrusty’s distinct Glaswegian voice never once falters throughout the album. Where he was more timid with Free, he hasn’t been afraid to really go for it on these songs and the result adds a whole other level to the songs. His voice particularly shines on Oceans and other slower songs like The Ones That I Love, Be A Kid and second single Brothers and Sisters. The latter again showing the impressive progression the band have gone through production-wise since Free.
For the most part every song is just as impressive as the last and most of the songs don’t sound like fillers like they can on some albums. However, the Biffy Clyro like potential shown in the catchy verses of Cell Mate is not quite matched by the chorus and while Twin Atlantic’s fellow Scots should definitely be watching their backs in their headline slots at festivals and on arena tours, this shows that perhaps TA aren’t quite at the same level yet.
Overall, Great Divide is an extraordinary album which solidifies Twin Atlantic’s place near the top of the ranks of British rock. Where some bands fall at the second album, Twin have exceeded their debut and it’s forgivable that one or two songs aren’t quite on the same level as the others because for nine or ten out of twelve songs on an album to stand out so strongly as solid rock songs is rare. Will the climb of success ever end for this band?