Being a female-fronted, pop punk band, Tonight Alive are bound to get a few comparisons to a certain red-haired singer and her band, who have also released a new album this year. To call the bands similar though, isn’t a fair assumption.
In ‘The Other Side‘, the Aussie five piece have carefully crafted an album bringing together all the listening pleasure of a pop record, combined with the bite of punk sound. Frontwoman Jenna McDougall plays it sweet through the opening track ‘The Ocean‘, conjuring images of a wide-eyed young girl, before tearing into the growling ‘Don’t Wish‘.
There’s a real sense of the band growing up on this record, both musically and thematically. The sound is a far step from the basic four chords that make up so many standard pop-punk tunes, and while there’s enough to feel familiar, each track is played out with sophisticated precision.
Previous single ‘Lonely Girl’ is a big hitter on the record, with a strong chorus and poignant message. Next up is ‘This Fire‘, taking the band’s sound to a metal level. Jenna makes full use of her vocal chords, proving herself to be a more than adequate songstress, while the guitar riffs bring the record’s energy levels to a new high.
‘Come Home‘ has a lovely, whispered quality to it. It’s a more intimate song from what has been a quite an upbeat, open record. ‘Bathwater‘, on the other hand, has a summery feel that brings back memories of Florida’s own Yellowcard.
For a second album, ‘The Other Side‘ is remarkably well crafted. There’s enough pop to satisfy fans of Tonight Alive‘s original work, but with a more adult slant. There’s tinges of metal and heavier punk blended in nicely, and its good to see the band experimenting with other genres. Based on this record, this is the sound of a band confidently carving a niche for themselves in what can be an over-populated music scene, and that’s not an easy thing to do.
Reviewer: Natalie Gardiner