Their first EP 'A Guidance From Colour' was chock-full of idiosyncrasies. Like a lot of bands gaining popularity, Twin Atlantic have phased these out to become increasingly poppy. While Free was a near perfect blend of the two, they may have gone too far with their new album, 'Great Divide'.
Something that has been pointed out about about Twin Atlantic is how they're almost a throwback to 80s rock giants like Bon Jovi and Whitesnake (lead single, 'Heart and Soul's chorus is strikingly similar to Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'). For the most part, this is not a problem. As cheesy as those bands were, they wrote fantastic hooks. 'Heart and Soul', 'Hold On' and 'Be A Kid' are no different.
The problem is when the fist in the air mentality of the music seeps into the lyrics. While 'Hold On' and 'Be A Kid' are very lyrically earnest, 'Actions That Echo' and, lacklustre opening track, 'The Ones That I Love (Intro)' come across as cringeworthy. In the songs, McTrusy informs the listener that the youth of today have lost their voice and that “You need to live in the moment instead of hoping your future is waiting for you” which could easily be a line in a song from a CITV cartoon. It is unfortunate because 'Actions That Echo's' energetic drums, great vocal melodies and acapella section would easily make it one of the album's better tracks.
Another weak moment is surprisingly the album's very popular second single 'Brothers and Sisters'. While the verses and chorus are catchy enough, the shift between the two is simply too jarring and therefore probably mismatched. Other weak points are U2 knock off 'Rest in Pieces' and Disney ballad 'Oceans'.
All criticism aside, the album is loaded with terrific pop songs. 'Fall Into The Party' is Twin Atlantic's excellent and catchy take on modern 'This is how baller I am' hip hop where McTrusty charmingly simply reminisces about a night where he was on top form. 'I Am An Animal' is an energetic rocker starts with thunderous drums and only gains momentum. The song describes a messy night the band shared in Las Vegas. The lyric “Lose my mind in a house of cards to piña coladas and cheap Frank Sinatras” is an absolute winner.
Twin Atlantic are great at taking aspects at rock music from the past and combining them to make great songs. 'Cell Mate', for example, is a masterclass in rock music. It simply has it all: grungey riffs, soaring guitar melodies, a knock-out chorus, rollicking drums and a huge guitar solo. Simply put, Twin Atlantic write great pop songs. There are a lot of missteps on the album and they probably should have kept some of the rougher edges that were on their past album but 'Great Divide' still sees Twin Atlantic add a lot of great songs to their already impressive repertoire.