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Album Review
Twin Atlantic - Free Album Cover

Twin Atlantic - Free

Reviewed by
8.3
Twin Atlantic - Free
Record Label: Red Bull Records
Release Date: May 3, 2011
After a few listens through Twin Atlantic’s Free I was disappointed. The energy was apparent, but the special quirks and off-kilter charms of their previous release, Vivarium, were gone. Then I found myself continually returning to the album, each time discovering new highlights and growing to appreciate individual songs more and more until finally I came to understand that Twin Atlantic is not playing the same chaotic and haphazard music of their past, and instead they have found a way to incorporate the best elements of that older style into a more palatable and excellent rock record.

Album opener “Edit Me” is like a musical average of all the elements that are revealed over the course of the 13 songs on Free. Heavy, darker instrumental sections segue into tingling, melodic verses that in turn build to driving, (musically) upbeat choruses. Twin Atlantic take a “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” approach to the album, which means that the formula may grow tiring for some listeners, and certainly more straightforward songs like “Edit Me” and “Free” don’t stand up to repeat listens nearly as well as others. However, there is enough variation and consistent charisma to counteract that impact. “Yes, I Was Drunk” tragically conveys a suicide and gorgeously builds, mostly thanks to lead singer Sam McTrusty’s increasingly anxious vocal performance. The wandering bass line, ambient guitar picking and pizzicato strings of “Make a Beast of Myself” are hypnotizing, and the instrumental “Serious Underground Dance Vibes” is the best post-rock song Caspian never wrote.

The tension between the frenetic energy of Twin Atlantic pre-Free and the boundless enthusiasm of Free is most clearly on display in “Eight Days”. The verses feature catchy melodies backed by intricate tapping guitar parts that are abruptly interrupted by aggressive, pounding hits. There’s no question as to which of the two dynamics wins out on the record though: a soaring pre-chorus leads to a shamelessly bright refrain that, much like that of third single “Time for You to Stand Up”, is built to inspire and energize.

The melding of old and new styles is likely one that came naturally to the Twin Atlantic, based on the overwhelming confidence pervading Free. Gil Norton’s production (Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Pixies) is outstanding and brilliantly translates the band’s exuberant vitality. On the title track, McTrusty belts, “Where’s your passion?” before adamantly confirming his and his band’s via an explosive release to the chorus. It’s as if Twin Atlantic looked sadly at the current state of rock music and decided that the only response was to push forward energetically, both defying and embracing the genre’s conventions to create a refreshing and self-assured record.

Recommended if You LikeFoo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Spitalfield


http://free.twinatlantic.com
This review is a user submitted review from Me & My Arrow. You can see all of Me & My Arrow's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
03:37 AM on 08/06/11
#2
simplejack
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A good rock record. Damn, those choruses are so catchy.
07:12 PM on 08/07/11
#3
cwhit412
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A good rock record. Damn, those choruses are so catchy.
Actually I thought all the choruses were pretty awful. Whole record was super flat.
02:22 PM on 08/08/11
#4
tcecdotcom
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Free is a great follow up to the band's last album. They deserve a lot more attention and respect in the States, and I can only hope that it happens soon. McTrusty and company put on a stellar live show--far more exciting than more mainland acts.
07:34 PM on 08/10/11
#5
Me & My Arrow
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Actually I thought all the choruses were pretty awful. Whole record was super flat.
As you can tell from my review, I disagree about the record being "super flat", but I agree that the choruses are not the album's or band's strength. The verses and pre-choruses of these songs are mesmerizing, though.
07:41 PM on 08/10/11
#6
cwhit412
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As you can tell from my review, I disagree about the record being "super flat", but I agree that the choruses are not the album's or band's strength. The verses and pre-choruses of these songs are mesmerizing, though.
I reviewed the record as well, and honestly, nothing really stood out minus "Crash Land"
But to each his own.
08:55 PM on 04/14/13
#7
ahriik
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Not perfect, but I really enjoyed this album. Loved the accent too haha.

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