New Twin Atlantic Video

Fighting again to win the award for ‘Most Obvious Accent in Music’, Twin Atlantic are back to make Biffy Clyro feel positively English with The Great Divide (hey, isn’t there that referendum coming?). It’s refreshing to hear a voice that doesn’t automatically turn American when accompanied by music, but that means two things: (1) At first, it gets in the way of the actual song and (2) It is almost impossible to sing along without doing an impression. Go on. Try it.

Getting on to the subject of content, we have an enjoyable collection of thoughtful songs that are obviously the product of hard work and dedication. Not something that will become a future classic, but are rich in potential for teenagers to loudly stress their feelings to parents, without actually saying anything themselves. This is an idea enforced by opener The Ones I Love, declaring “can tell the youth of today have lost their voice”. So, it’s a subtle affair. As one of the many bands that fall in with the loud, chord heavy crowds, this eases you into the album, gently and, somewhat, misleadingly. Slower melodies usually pop up towards the middle.

As already shown with Heart and Soul and Brothers and Sisters, they’re still shaking hands with Radio 1. Rather than casting a negative light on their work, it lifts the quality of the radio station, while also performing the vital function of allowing the public to make a snap decision on the album. With The Great Divide, that’s not entirely fair. Yes, there are some similar melodies thrown into the mix, but there are slower, more relatable songs that aren’t getting the publicity. The radio just gets the more upbeat tunes. To some that have heard them, this may seem like a joke. It’s not, those are genuinely some of the happiest tracks the band have penned for the album. Let other people be cheery, someone has to realize the world isn’t all puppies and rainbows.

Like the third Lord of the Rings movie, there are a few false endings, because so many of the songs feel like they’re wrapping it all up. Be a Kid starts winding everything down with some quick anger about the fact time exists. Vocalist Sam McTrusty injects so much emotion into each word, lamenting the ageing process so you almost forget what getting older brought to his life and feel sorry for him. Almost. His job is still to be a rockstar. Having to “work night and day” generally only evokes sympathy when you work in a sewer. Still, the sentiment is there.

So, after being reminded that growing up, getting a job and paying bills, does indeed suck, you’re ready for everything to finish. Thing is, the album isn’t that short, there are 4 tracks left. Cell Mate is one of the weakest because he. Sings. In. Broken. Sentences. Despite this unique feature (in relation to everything on the album, not every other song ever), it’s quite forgettable, which is both a shame and not bad going. Nobody should be disappointed with 11/12 success rate. Rest in Pieces is misleading, given the title, quite nice to listen to, though comprised largely of the kind of contradictions that gave OneRepublic a hit (“I feel high when I hit the low”).

Then come Actions That Echo and Why Won’t We Change?- two interchangeable closers. The latter won the battle, but people could be forgiven for having already switched off their attention when the former drew to a close. Instruments fading down like they do here is the international signal for “goodbye and thanks for listening”.

There’s nothing to offend anyone here. As records go, it’s quite safe. Though this means it’s easy to like. Bass seems like a serving suggestion rather than a key ingredient, which could rub aspects of the public the wrong way, but there’s plenty of guitar and drum work to make up for it, especially in I Am An Animal; a song that gets so excited by its own existence, it could be about toasters and people would still be unable to resist a bit of toe tapping.

Nothing quite as narrative and, frankly, depressing as Yes, I Was Drunk makes an appearance but strong competitors with Make a Beast of Myself for biggest hit sneak in. Twin Atlantic have produced a list of festival pleasers, featuring the kind of word stretching that turns an ordinary song into a stadium pleasing anthem (“Hooooooolllllld oooooonnnnnn”, which is accompanied by a drumming as steady and consistent as a heartbeat). Big crowds seem to love when a word takes forever to come out.

Well worth a listen and with several tracks that will genuinely make you think, Twin Atlantic prove they’re deserving of any attention they get. Fans of previous albums will find little to be upset about as it’s not a large departure from what they already know and love. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Great Divide will be released 18 August