Part of your home will always be inside you. The environment of where you were raised built you. Your idea of home is what it taught you. Music tends to shape the culture of many places across the world. Twin Atlantic hoped to thank their home of Glasgow, Scotland in their newest album, GLA.
GLA is Twin Atlantic's fourth record, so their sound has been honed and it's very clear that they know how to own it. Right off the bat, you're thrown into 'Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator' with it slamming beat and big guitars. Sam McTrusty's vocals aren't perfect, but they're just the right amount of imperfect that it adds that punk flair to the track without it being able to be brushed off as lazy or unprofessional. The bridge builds up epically, McTrusty's vocals and a thick bassline being the only sound as the elements of the song come back together for one big explosion to the end the track.
There's just the right amount of punk on this record to give it that extra punch as a whole. Huge, crunchy riffs dominate a lot of the tracks on the album. 'No Sleep' has a big riff that brings the chorus together into a big rock uproar. Crunchy guitars are the signature of 'You Are The Devil', as well. 'I Am Alive' has choruses with soaring vocals above massive bassy riffs, the groovy track climaxing with that huge riff that reprises itself throughout. An anthemic presence can be found in 'Overthinking' within its big choruses, as well as in 'The Chaser' and its epic guitar solo. The latter of two has a very big call-to-arms vibe in it, showing that the energy doesn't falter at any point of the record - it's incredibly consistent.
The softer moments of the record are just as brilliant as its most upfront moments. The acoustic 'A Scar To Hide' is the only track with a fully stripped-down instrumental. It's just an acoustic guitar, McTrusty's vocals, and an absolutely gorgeous orchestra backing it. There's not many songs that utilize strings on this record, which really is a shame considering how beautifully they implemented them in.
The last song on the album isn't acoustic but it isn't the most upfront. 'Mother Tongue' uses just a crunchy guitar and eventually the beautiful orchestras of 'Scar'. It's an ode to Scotland, McTrusty singing about how powerful the band's bond is with their home country. Its lyrics are some of the most powerful on the record; while most of the album is focusses on pumping you up and building power, 'Mother Tongue' is the song that is the dedication to their home. It becomes powerfully apparent with the chorus, which chants, "I've been lonely / I've been holding out for days / I miss your spirit / I am more than just a name / Our blood runs deeper / Our blood runs soaked in our mistakes."
Twin Atlantic make it very apparent that their home is what shaped who they are. GLA is an album that really captures the sound of Scotland. It's rebellious yet still has a sense of pride throughout it. Its ending number sums it all up with powerful imagery, closing the record on a very personal note. It's up there in all the bests of the band's discography. There's a lot of heart in this record, and that's half of its charm.
Favorite Tracks: The Chaser, Mother Tongue, A Scar To Hide, Overthinking
Least Favorite Tracks: You Are The Devil, Missing Link
Rating: 79 / 100