A throbbing crowd of 17-year-olds in sticky mascara, white T-shirts and jeans that are, to quote the kid in front of me, ‘indie as fuck’ is a tip-off to the manic energy that embodies Twin Atlantic’s sold-out Edinburgh gig.
Fresh from the release of their mini-album, Vivarium, the band seem genuinely taken aback to see several hundred bodies leaning towards the stage, their arms outstretched, and their heads nodding in time. Despite playing as the supporting band to alternative rock superstars, the Smashing Pumpkins, the band doesn’t seem to have shaken the dream-like state of long awaited success. Front man Sam McTrusty repeatedly asks the audience “is this as weird for you as it is for us?” If their screams are anything to go by, the audience doesn’t find the band’s burgeoning fame weird in the slightest.
Twin Atlantic have tapped into that distinctive brand of teenage angst, the unfocussed and self-indulgent angst only available or plausible once in your life, and through the course of the night they drain the well. Songs vary from frenzied headbang-inducing numbers to cloudier, more subdued melodies. Exact lyrics are lost amid occasionally overpowering instrumental and bounding energy, making several numbers enjoyable but superficial.
Yet the lead singer’s occasional bemused smile and wide-eyed surprise pulls the band back from the perilous edge of teen-rock melodrama and there are moments where you get a taste of what this band could be in a couple of years’ time.
Despite signing with an American record label the band has remained wary of Americanization, as their song ‘You’re Turning Into John Wayne’ recounts. Underlying Glasgow accents which break through the surface to full effect in ‘Better Weather’ coupled with a lack of affectation add a soulful edge and pull the band out from the indie jean masses.
Twin Atlantic may still be on the first step towards their hugely ambitious vision but the explosive unabashed energy between the crowd and the band leave little doubt that they and the fans are going to love every minute of it.