Album Review: Twin Atlantic - 'POWER'
Glaswegian four-piece Twin Atlantic make a triumphant return with their fifth studio album and first self-produced LP.
After finishing the tour cycle for GLA the band parted from their record label and struck out on their own. POWER is the first LP produced by the band themselves, but there is certainly nothing amateur about it. Indeed, there is a lot to suggest that it is Twin Atlantic’s most accomplished album to date.
While 2016’s GLA was rather aggressive and confrontational, with POWER the Scottish four-piece have taken a more experimental – and arguably more fun – route. They play about with synths and vocals in the opening track Oh! Euphoria!; the likes of Volcano deliver the guitar solos; and the repetitive, catchy one-line chorus of I Feel It Too reminds me of GLA’s I Am Alive, though with softer vocals.
Even as Oh! Euphoria! sets the upbeat tone for POWER, the lyrics point to a heavier, more serious undertone. In the pre-chorus, vocalist Sam McTrusty asks, ‘Where’s my revolution?’, potentially alluding to current national and global challenges.
Barcelona, the second track and first single released ahead of the album, casts us back to GLA with reference to a ‘golden elephant’ in the second verse, however there is none of the aggression of Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator. The verses are rife with contemporary cultural references – I’m sure most can empathise with being sick of ‘ “Clockwork Orange” living’.
'POWER is the first LP produced by the band themselves, but there is certainly nothing amateur about it. Indeed, there is a lot to suggest that it is Twin Atlantic’s most accomplished album to date'.
At its heart, Barcelona is a declaration of love and seems, in a sense, to isolate a moment of realisation. POWER seems to be divided by themes – the first five songs (discounting the indescribable forty second noise of Mount Bungo) concern love and relationships, McTrusty explores religion in the decidedly sinister Messiah, and Volcano seems to be a dedication to the experience of live performance – how meta. Of course, it’s all open to interpretation, but there is definitely a lot going on.
The ‘main songs’, if you like, are broken up by the two instrumental tracks, Mount Bungo and Asynchronous. The light piano of the latter is the closest thing we get to the token Twin Atlantic ballad – in GLA, A Scar to Hide nestled among the aggressive anthems, but POWER lacks a soft acoustic number. However, I didn’t notice any absence until I compared it with the rest of Twin Atlantic’s discography, and this is potentially the best thing about POWER – it feels complete.
'The light piano of the latter is the closest thing we get to the token Twin Atlantic ballad – in GLA, A Scar to Hide nestled among the aggressive anthems, but POWER lacks a soft acoustic number'.
It is without doubt the band’s most coherent album to date, with a perfect blend of beautiful melodies and choruses you can jump around to. I enjoyed every song in its own right and as a collective, the experience of listening is only heightened; I would recommend listening to the album in order, but each song, (apart from, potentially, the instrumentals), can easily stand alone.
Whether a die-hard fan or just discovering Twin Atlantic, disappointment is not on the table here. I haven’t listened to anything else in the week since POWER was released, and I am still discovering things I love about it.