Twin Atlantic's follow up to 2011's Free is Great Divide. It's an eclectic album that shows off a tremendous amount of growth from the Scottish band.
Free was one of the best rock albums to be made over the past five years. It's a strong record that shows the best of Twin Atlantic and it's a night and day comparison from Free to their release before that, Vivarium. The difference between Free and Great Divide isn't as wide of a gap.
Great Divide, produced by Gil Norton, has Twin Atlantic taking a few chances. The intro to the record, "The Ones That I Love" is a different approach for the band. It's a celtic ballad that showcases the wispy but strong vocal of frontman Sam McTrusty. It's a cool start to the record, but it's also a gamble that doesn't pay off as well as it should have. That song is the strongest lyrically and vocally on the album but the music doesn't match the power of the song. If that song was fully fleshed out, expanded, and sped up - it would be amazing. Instead, it never delivers on the potential that it has. That's really the one problem that I picked up on with this record. Through the course of the album, there are a few different types of songs. Notably the band experiments with some pop elements. Norton also had the band experiment with some new guitar tones on this album. The guitars have a lot of 90's grunge elements to them so they have a dirty sound that really matches well with what Twin Atlantic does best. There's also a few songs on this record that would fit in on Free just fine.
Twin Atlantic's Great Divide is a strong album from the band of Scotsmen. It's varied and it's written extremely well. The Twin Atlantic and Norton pairing worked to perfection again too. It's hard to say if they'll enjoy the success that they saw with the last record - the title track from the last album was such a beast and a defining song for the band. "The Ones That I Love" could have done similar things if it were arranged differently, but the band went in a different artistic direction. Great Divide is still a great listen and an album that I can almost guarantee you'll want to listen to over and over again.