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In their short career to date, Glaswegian four-piece Twin Atlantic have already supported big-selling fellow Scots Biffy Clyro and American legends Smashing Pumpkins, suggesting they have won the respect of their peers as an act of genuine promise. Unfortunately, this largely disappointing album offers only fitful evidence that they have what it takes to emulate the success of their celebrated contacts.
Founded in 2007, Twin Atlantic’s debut (mini) album Vivarium, in particular the single and standout track You’re Turning Into John Wayne, seemed to herald the arrival of a new band proud of its Scottishness and scathing of the faux-Americanisms favoured by many of their contemporaries. Sometimes loud and dynamic but often subtle and textured, Vivarium was a confident collection that boded well for the future.
Regrettably, the band’s next step has been to turn up the volume, tone down singer Sam McTrusty’s proudly Caledonian twang and go all out to be the next Fall Out Boy. As a result, Twin Atlantic no longer stand out enough from the host of similar power-pop and emo acts that have flooded the airwaves in recent years, and Free is depressingly characterised by unimaginative, one-paced hollers like The Ghost of Eddie and Time For You to Stand Up.
Frequently blighted by the kind of over-earnest, ham-fisted lyrical hand-wringing all too common in this genre, the album’s title-track provides a serious contender for the most banal couplet of the year – "I fell in love with rock and roll / Until I discovered it was false." Don’t retire yet Zimmerman, we still need you. Only Crash Land, with its elegant cello, slows the pace sufficiently to show what might have been, giving McTrusty the space to rediscover the more thoughtful, distinctive vocal style displayed on Vivarium.
There’s a fair chance Free will bring some kind of breakthrough for Twin Atlantic, as the market for their brand of unsophisticated, confrontational angst-rock remains a fruitful ground. Whether they have what it takes to stride forward from the middle of the pack and establish their own identity is another matter.
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Top Customer Reviews
This album is fantastic! A definite contender for album of the year
13 tracks -all great, and which could all be on any radio playlist (Apart from 1 instrumental).
Buy this album! See these guys live!
I totally agree they should be on the radio more
Youd be forgiven for thinking the first few bars could have been the start of a Guns and Roses track (similar to Welcome to the Jungle) then the vocals reminded me of Blink 182 giving it a more pop feel, but then became more rasping and powerful and good to hear the dialect which adds to the raw feel and emotion of the music.
Track 5 had the overtones of 500 miles but the proclaimers are twee in comparison to this.
And then you forget trying to make comparisons as these guys are in a league of their own - which was how I also would describe the Killers (which I love).
For me the mark of a really great rock band ( of which this is one) is one that can take hints of all sorts of things and blend them into their own unique style which is just...well.. them and no-one else.
I totally agree with the reviewer who said 'All killers, No Fillers' as every track is different and every one demands your attention. No temptation here to skip a track to one of your favourites. If you love great new rock music with a huge variety of beat, strength, bit of acoustic, guts and passion, drive, musical skill and interesting lyrics then BUY THIS. Superb.
`Time For You To Stand Up's triumphant power chords present a confident, passionate band and lead guitar's background melody is so cleverly crafted it leads you yearning for more - hanging onto their every word. As he sings `I need you to believe in me' there's no doubt everyone listening does.
`Yes, I Was Drunk' has the most beautifully sincere opening riff, and raw, vulnerable vocals that make one hell of a song. With every melodic repetition a new layer is added: a bass riff, a strumming of electric guitars, modest drums. Definitely a pick-me-up or a song to cry to all rolled into one: sad without being depressing and melody victorious enough to put a smile on your face.
From the unrefined to the clean produced funfair feel of `Dreamember', sombre lyrics are disguised with a jaunty tune sure to stay with you for the rest of the day. No one can deny Twin Atlantic know how to write hooks & this is one of their best. Alongside title track `Free' which has a pre-chorus to rival the likes of Blink-182 easily, lyircs `Where's your passion, where's your fire tonight?' provoke emotion from the hardest of souls, rallying us up for a fight.Read more ›
The BBC reviewer is far too harsh - I think this album is brilliant. Sam's voice is so distinctive, even although there are other profound Scottish singers out there (namely, Biffy Clyro and Glasvegas). You can feel the emotion when he sings, as if it's the last thing he'll ever do.
'Make A Beast Of Myself' is a cracking song, but there are plenty others, too. 'Free', 'We Want Better, Man' and 'Time For You To Stand Up' are my personal favourites, with 'Crash Land' also providing a down-tempo moment that makes you feel like the world has stood still.
Basically, I love this album. If you like good music, you should buy it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant album. I bought it as I'd heard Twin Atlantic on the Radio and likes them, and Love Biffy Clyro (sound similar) - I love this albumPublished 17 months ago by Heather Gardner