ALBUM REVIEW: Twin Atlantic – Transparency
Photo Credit: Cameron Brisbane
Twin Atlantic are a band that feel like they’ve been going on for lot longer than they actually have. Tracks like Heart and Soul, Make a Beast of Myself, and Crash Land feel like all-time classics.
They have consistently put out brilliant records ever since 2009, whilst keeping their sound fresh, and one thing that can be said about Transparency, is that the band have yet again invented themselves. This can be said for both on and off the pitch.
In September, Twin Atlantic’s drummer Craig Kneale announced he was going to be stepping back from the band after 15 years, although the split was on good terms, it will undoubtedly leave a big void for them to fill.
Heading into the studio will have been a strange and potentially tough time and that’s reflected in the low-key opening track Keep Your Head Up – a piano ballad that perhaps would have fitted better as a closer.
Lead singer Sam McTrusty’s message to either a friend, relative, or simply fans of Twin Atlantic of “If you fuck up, I’ve got your back, son, I’ll be here for you,” does not effectively do the traditional opening track’s job of setting the tone for the album, but it would make a fantastic closer.
One Man Party follows and truly sets the tone for the record. Brimming with personality and attitude, it encapsulates the record, although it’s hard to deny the chorus’s annoying screeching style singing does dampen the track a bit, as well as the pointless bridge three quarters of the way through which adds virtually nothing.
The groovy Get Famous is one of the examples of Twin Atlantic really getting it right. McTrusty’s attitude and lyrical prowess is comparable to Baxter Dury, except with perhaps more vocal talent. It’s a fun song with one of the better choruses on the record.
Speaking of which, Young follows the successful stint of choruses in Transparency, with a pretty riff the chorus dances around. “What’s your favourite milkshake?” isn’t a question you usually get asked when listening to music, but it’s one Haunt asks. Realistically that’s probably the highlight of the track, which simply walks through it’s nearly four-minute entirety with little to show for it.
Sadly, Dance Like Your Mother continues this lull in the record despite its ‘beeping’ riff. McTrusty tells you to “dance like your mother”, but bizarrely, the band fails to provide music to dance to.
In a similar style to Get Famous, Dirty does what it says on the tin. “Michael Jackson, milkshake, slippy nipple after the handshake” is just one example of the peculiar lyrics it entails. The last minute of the song, which features a bridge section leading to a huge finale, is probably the best moment of this record.
Bang On The Gong was the first track that fans heard off Transparency back in August. Like the majority of the tracks on this LP, it follows a simple enough song structure in its format. A low-key bassline, a subtle riff for the verse, all followed by a big chorus. The pop-rock repetition of this record is okay, but perhaps it could do with being mixed up from time to time.
It’s Getting Dark is pretty dark as it goes. McTrusty sings of not believing in love to a fairly forgettable piano piece. Although his delivery is passionate, it’s quite forgettable.
Closer Instigator reiterates the strange track ordering in Transparency. It’s one of the better tracks on the album, but it is left until last and finishes the record on a strange note. The song is sounding great, with McTrusty’s heartfelt chorus and the riff building up to a big finish, but then the album abruptly ends, just when you’re really getting into it.
Transparency has some fun tracks, but regretfully, they do become a bit predictable at times. McTrusty’s lyrics are the best they have been, and the style really suits him, but the accompanied music fails to leave a memorable impact most of the time.
This may not be Twin Atlantic‘s best album, but what you do get in your 33 minutes is a band that has reinvented themselves once again, and you have to give them credit for that.
Standout Tracks: Get Famous, Dirty, Instigator
For Fans Of: The 1975, The Xcerts, Biffy Clyro
Written by: Joe Loughran