Glasgow’s four-piece Twin Atlantic took off in 2007, featuring lead vocalist Sam McTrusty, bassist Ross McNae, guitarist Barry McKenna and drummer Craig Kneale. Throwing their Scottish roots into the alternative rock mix, the band has since built quite the international reputation. Twin Atlantic released their debut A Guidance from Colour EP in early 2008 and subsequently joined The Xcerts on a joint tour. Soon after, the band formed a fan following that resulted in sold-out shows and a seemingly endless stream of opportunities. Twin Atlantic ventured stateside to record their first album, Vivarium, released in September 2009 through Red Bull Records. Subsequently, their touring career took off, the band having supported the likes of Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance through 2010. They most recently released Free in April 2011 and continue to perform alongside other notable groups like Angels & Airwaves and blink-182.
Ever wondered why so many U.K. bands sing with American accents? Some argue that it's a result of the physiological differences between speaking and singing, but there are plenty of artists that maintain regional dialects when singing: the Arctic Monkeys' Yorkshire accent, The Beatles' bits of Liverpudlian inflection. None fly the regional dialect flag like the Scots, with a long tradition of strong Scottish accents making it into song from The Proclaimers to Glaswegian rockers Twin Atlantic, which is maybe a bit ironic, considering how grounded the four-piece is in American rock music. Twin Atlantic's Facebook page lists bands like blink-182 and Smashing Pumpkins as influences, and their music is certainly in the same vein as those bands.
More than anything else, Twin Atlantic's 2011 sophomore album Free feels raw and authentic. Whether busting into grungy rockers, orchestral acoustic tracks or heartstring-plucking power pop, these guys go all out, making emotionally resonant music without getting overdramatic and evoking the “e” word (emo). The album was produced by veteran Gil Norton, who also produced classics such as the Foo Fighers' The Colour and the Shape, and there are definite parallels. Like Dave Grohl's band in their heyday, Twin Atlantic bristle with punk energy just waiting to explode, but temper the power with a softer melodic side.
“Make a Beast of Myself” uses that classic quiet verse/loud chorus dynamic popularized by Nirvana and the Pixies (also produced by Norton). Beginning with a wall of distorted guitar and big drum hits, the song mellows to brightly picked guitar and McTrusty's charismatically resigned vocals, thick with his Glaswegian accent. After a brief dramatic pause, the band launches into a rousing chorus of blasting guitar and McTrusty's belted vocals, along with some unexpectedly catchy orchestral flourishes. “Free” is the kind of anthemic track that you imagine coming to life in as big and loud of an environment as possible, with its head banging, fist pumping chorus, “So I can be free yeaaahhhhh!”
If you're a fan of rousing rockers then don't pass by Twin Atlantic and their raw passion.