Admittedly, whether it’s because I’m so desperate to be integrated into British culture or because I fully believe that I’m just not American enough, I always seek out musicians from across the pond. I’m not very specific in my quests because – hey – who knew I would be into folk rock as much as I am, no thanks to Mr. Frank Turner. I like the element of surprise, of being thrown into a sound without the fear of drowning – total immersion. Hailing from Glasgow, Twin Atlantic caught me off guard with their full-length debut album, Free.
At first listen, and I mean, after listening to the first song “Edit Me,” one might think that this is a typical everyday rock album. Sam McTrusty’s vocals are incredibly similar to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’, Ronnie Winter, and there is no doubting the high energy that most rock albums bring. However, McTrusty’s voice carries a subtle accent, and subsequent tracks which follow “Edit Me,” are in no way alike.
Songs like “Serious Underground Dance Vibes,” reflect the ambiance of Explosions in the Sky. Remember how I said I like surprises? I was thrown for a loop when, after further listening, found that it was not actually what it’s title promised – an electronic-rock song – but instrumental mood music. Previous songs like, “Dreamember,” (which, I can’t tell if it’s a wombo of dream + December, dream + member, or dream + remember), also encompassed other sounds which were not reflective of “everyday rock” – think honky-tonk.
“Here comes the part where I start to choke on words that I pre-wrote,” McTrusty vocalizes in “Wonder Sleeps Here,” captivating my writer’s mind. There’s a song for everyone as the record is a mutual blend of ballads, acoustics, metal and much, much more. Think of this album as the trail mix – sweet and salty.
Originally published on Oct 3, 2011