Album Review: Twin Atlantic - 'Great Divide'

22 August 2014 | 4:18 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

A slapdash rock record, revealing that the band are hoping their audience will do all of the work for them.

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When a band seemingly believes they’re writing music ‘inspired’ by their newfound stadium sized exposure it basically predestines the event of their selling out. Twin Atlantic could be forgiven for watering down their alternative rock routine on 'Great Divide', which to be honest, was already pretty mushy, were it not for the fact that their newfound appreciation for writing ‘big songs’ was in actuality, a cop out.

The Ones That I Love’ is a poor choice to kick start the album, making its debut with a faux atmospheric lead in, that attempts at a some kind of political commentary but falls short on the coat tails of cringe-worthy lyrics, cheesy vocal harmonies and a fairly useless piano melody. It’s not all bad for Twin Atlantic at this point in the game, with the condescendingly titled ‘Heart and Soul’ proving to be as catchy and commercially accessible as a band of this ilk aim to achieve. Quickly though, the familiar chorus kicks in and it’s clear by ‘Fall Into The Party’ that Great Divide is more than just informed by grandiose rock tunes, it’s ripping them off.

What ensues is a series of inconsequential tracks about exploding hearts (‘Hold On’), and ‘living in the moment’ ('Actions That Echo') padded with more lyrical clichés and melodies that are highly dependent on building a steady beat and dropping said beat come chorus time, in a way that is, presumably, meant to be uplifting to the listener. The record could almost be bearable, if you can turn a blind eye to that sort of thing, if it weren’t for tracks like ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ and ‘Be a Kid,’ which have a questionable, and alien role on the record.

Twin Atlantic are clearly huge fans of making things painfully obvious for their fans, or perhaps they’re just really scared that they’re going to be misunderstood, because their track titles, along with their lyrical skill, are obvious, and lacklustre, to say the least. It’s clear by now that, thematically, Great Divide, as a record, is sloppy and all over the place. Musically, it’s transparently lazy, and ‘I Am An Animal’ and ‘Cell Mate,’ do very little, aside from delivering more of the same empty stadium anthems, to combat such an assessment.

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'Great Divide' is the classic example of a hyped up band believing their own hype, and when they’re not sounding like weak examples of tried and true rock n roll anthems, Twin Atlantic are devastatingly uninspiring. Looks like those charming UK accents will only get them so far.

1. The Ones That I Love (Intro)

2. Heart and Soul

3. Hold On

4. Fall Into the Party

5. Brothers and Sisters

6. Oceans

7. I Am an Animal

8. Be a Kid

9. Cell Mate

10. Rest in Pieces

11. Actions That Echo

12. Why Won’t We Change?

13. Raise a Symphony

14. Globalisolation

15. It's Not Dead