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Twin Atlantic - Power (Album Review)

Thursday, 30 January 2020 Written by Graeme Marsh

Plenty has happened in the world of Twin Atlantic since the Glasgow rockers released ‘GLA’ three years ago.  Firstly, frontman Sam McTrusty discovered he was experiencing the sensory phenomenon synesthesia, a revelation that contributed to how the band’s fifth album, ‘Power’, sounds.

Secondly, the band split from their long-time label Red Bull Records. The knock-on effect of this parting of ways is perhaps the biggest influence on their new LP, with their own studio giving them instant freedom and facilitating a learning process that progressed alongside their equipment collation.

Thirdly, and also rather tellingly, guitarist Barry McKenna has gone from full-time band member to touring presence only, leaving the group as a trio for ‘Power’.

With no lead guitarist on board, it’s no surprise to hear they’ve gone synth-heavy and turned to influences like LCD Soundsystem for inspiration as they try to “capture an energy”.

The overly repetitive opener Oh! Euphoria! showcases the new direction immediately, with thick, mid-’80s synths offering glitz and garish flair in place of substance. It’s flamboyantly followed by Barcelona, where big flashy keys take over to leave us in no doubt about how things will continue. 

The song aims for the anthemic stadium rock presence the band feel most comfortable with performance-wise, but the suspicion that it’s straining with effort to reach those euphoric highs won’t go away. And so it continues. 

The bombastic Novacaine races ahead as its lyrics bemoan “my foolish electric heart”, but there’s considerable catchiness on offer to help beset the overwhelming barrage. I Feel It Too continues the production-heavy approach, so much so that you’re reminded of how Trevor Horn transformed Frankie Goes To Hollywood. 

Messiah slows the pace, its title vocalised in a way that points to Depeche Mode as an influence. That continues through the album’s high point Ultraviolet Truth, where the galloping recedes to highlight more similarities with Dave Gahan and company before heading into something more aligned with Beloved, particularly thanks to the backing vocals and synth hook.

‘Power’ is a collection that catalogues Twin Atlantic’s new direction in a way that is clearly driven by finding their feet in new studio surroundings. While it’s far from terrible, it feels like the first step in a transformation process. With a perceived try hard element being felt throughout, though, perhaps it needed a more experienced third party to help hone the new direction, and mould it into something more compelling, rather than a final work showing only glimpses of intrigue.

Twin Atlantic Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 03 2020 - MOTHERWELL Motherwell Concert Hall
Wed March 04 2020 - ABERDEEN Aberdeen Music Hall
Fri March 06 2020 - DUNDEE Fat Sam's
Sat March 07 2020 - KILMARNOCK Grand Hall
Mon March 09 2020 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Riverside
Tue March 10 2020 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Wed March 11 2020 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Fri March 13 2020 - CARDIFF Tramshed
Sat March 14 2020 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Sun March 15 2020 - LEICESTER O2 Academy Leicester
Tue March 17 2020 - BOURNEMOUTH Old Fire Station Bournemouth
Wed March 18 2020 - BRIGHTON Brighton Concorde 2
Fri March 20 2020 - LONDON Electric Ballroom

Click here to compare & buy Twin Atlantic Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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