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Key Tracks: “Let It Land,” “Starlight,” “Breaking and Entering”
Long live pop punk! One of the newest additions to the Fearless Records lineup is Tonight Alive, a female-fronted quintet from Australia. The group is beginning to turn heads in the pop punk world with their catchy choruses, great guitar riffage and excellent, upbeat lyrics that are borderline emo love.
Though their debut LP, What Are You So Scared Of?, was released back in October through Sony Music Australia, it was just re-released through Fearless here in the states, and with good intentions because if you missed its original release date, you don’t want to miss out on this now.
Though they aren’t making music that is “new,” as in a completely different take on a genre, but the group has definitely taken a hold and tried to crank out exciting music. Vocalist Jenna McDougall could easily beat Paramore’s Hayley Williams in a vocal cage match, and instrumentals match the strength of classic Jimmy Eat World and Blink-182, which helps because Blink’s Mark Hoppus lends his voice to “Thank You & Goodnight,” a fast-paced, upbeat track.
As a whole, each song has its own little quirks that make them different and stand out. The standout tracks on the album tend to be the ones that are more upbeat and happy, but the only sort of ballad on the album, “Amelia,” is a somber song about the death of a friend. With a chilling lyric that Jenna sings gorgeously; “You will always be sweet 16.” The song is soft at first, but radiates with more power a minute in and is one of those songs that would sound so much better acoustic.
“Breaking and Entering” starts the album off with a catchy power that will draw and keep listeners interested for the whole album. The riffing at the beginning is great and the whole song keeps a catchy beat.
Luckily for us listeners, the album is lyrically unlike the style of many female pop singers where happiness and love is the main topic, but shares the feel of Avril Lavigne, where there is more of a punk feel.
What hurts the album most is that the song structure is the same way almost each time, with a nice heavy guitar intro that leads into soft instrumentals with a slight keyboard use. It doesn’t make the album boring, but it sure bring down some credibility. As a whole, though, it’s a solid debut.
Who knows what we will see from the group in future. Let's hope they don’t fall into the same sort of styling of Paramore. The group makes exciting music and has a live presence and quality to back it up. Soon, they’ll gain more recognition in the states. What Are You So Scared Of? is a solid and fun album that only needs some minor tweaks to refine Tonight Alive's sound.
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