Twin Alantic: Rock Wolf in Pop Clothing

I’ve finally hit that age where all music sounds the same to me. Or maybe it really does. Recently a friend, who is a legend in the music review business, and I discussed the fact that ‘they don’t make music like they used to anymore.’ Well Twin Atlantic changed my view on that on Tuesday, 13 September at the private listening party for their new album, GLA, held at the Red Bull Studios in Bree Street, Cape Town.
Photograph by Jonathan Ferreira / Red Bull Content Pool
Photograph by Jonathan Ferreira / Red Bull Content Pool

Now some of you might remember Twin Atlantic from Oppikoppi 2015 – or their show at Shimmy Beach Club for One Night in Cape Town. I didn’t attend either. I mean, I couldn’t imagine anything brilliant coming from Scotland after running 500 miles after the Proclaimers or asking Simple Minds not to forget about me. Boy was I wrong.

Photograph by Jonathan Ferreira / Red Bull Content Pool

The cooler, Scottish version of One Direction have evolved into more than an underdog. The album opens with a track that would not have been out of place on a Garbage album from the early naughties. In ‘No Sleep’, the first single, you can see why they were a clear choice to open for Biffy Clyro and Blink 182, as this particular track could have easily been a Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Blink collaboration (probably produced by Dave Grohl). This is not at all a bad thing. There’s a sexiness in the throwback to real Rock in the late 90s/early 2000s that took me back to when I used to headbang around my bedroom in high school.

Lyrically, the middle of the album is also strong and relatable, and NME was on point when they said “It’s the age of the Trojan rock band.” Twin Atlantic definitely is the rock-wolf in pop-clothing. Their sound is to be drawn from bands like Two Door Cinema Club (which might just be because of their recording with Jacknife Lee who worked with said band), and even some Steve Stevens-esque guitar riffs mixed with what sounds like our very own Arno Carstens at times. It’s obvious that, after their last offering, the band reevaluated their sound and drew from all over the spectrum to create their unique sound without alienating their audience. Talk about a music promoter’s dream!

Stand out tracks are of course ‘No Sleep’, ‘Whispers’, ‘A Scar To Hide’ and the closer, ‘Mothertongue’.