There is already a lot of excitement brewing around the latest offering from Twin Atlantic, which is always an interesting place from which to start a review. Over the not-so-distant past and from relatively obscure pop-punk roots, the Glaswegian collective have seen a swift climb through the music charts. Off the back of the considerable commercial success of their previous album, 2014's 'Great Divide', 'GLA' is a confident follow-up, which sees no slackening in volume or pace for the band, but an increasingly self-conscious nod to populist stadium-rock sensibilities.
Opening track, the inexplicably named 'Gold Elephant: Cherry Aligator', is a forceful takeoff to a ride that spirals and dips many times throughout its course. Things pick up again on 'Valhalla', a screeching, pulsating, fist-pumping affair. Mixing with inimitable vocals from Sam McTrusty, Twin Atlantic's 'magic formula' of loud, loud, loud is much in evidence on 'GLA'. The band retain their skill for writing and throwing out a very catchy hook, however by the halfway point the relentless pace of the album leaves you feeling the need for a little time out. For those moments there are ballads of sorts here in the mix, with 'A Scar to Hide' presenting one of the major changes in pace.
This album set out to showcase the collective scars acquired over the bands history, as well as crystallizing their feelings around hometown of Glasgow, a city McTrusty describes as 'a city at the forefront of multiculturalism, both forward thinking and with a real sense of community, but also with a dark and rough history'. This energy, hope and darkness are all in evidence here. While they might not be winning any genre-defining prizes for their accomplished, polished rock and the notable yet ambiguous wisdom of their lyrical content, Twin Atlantic are a driving and compelling band with seemingly genuine heart and soul behind what they do.
'GLA' is the sound of a band making the music that they want to, for a large and loyal following, and having a lot of fun in the process. Twin Atlantic are making the very most of the platform that they have earned through sweat and toil in suitably overblown manner. They've come this far, but the overwhelming feeling as the last track fades is. I wonder what they are going to do next.
Released: 9th September 2016, Red Bull Records.
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