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Album Review: Tonight Alive - What Are You So Scared Of?

Tonight Alive’s biography on their own website claims that “What really lifts Tonight Alive above another female-fronted pop-rock band is their muscular musicality, a deft sense of dynamic, a way of shifting seamlessly from the big riffs and breakdowns, to allow space and the sensibility of Jenna's sweetly sung melodies to shine through.” A statement that in all honesty is untrue. What Tonight Alive have here with their debut album “What Are You So Scared Of” is a pop/rock album that while it's an absolutely solid release, isn’t anything that you’ll never have heard before.

That might read as a negative, but it’s not, as mentioned, it is a solid release, Jenna McDougall’s vocals; while inevitably comparable to those of Hayley Williams, do actually stand out as a massive strong point for the album. “Sure As Hell” shows them off wonderfully: intertwining between the higher and lower registers, the song as a whole is probably the best on the album despite close competition from “Starlight” while honorable mentions go to “Amelia” thanks to its absolutely massive chorus. It’s a song that proves that the band can consistently write good songs if they put their mind to it.

The main problem “What Are You So Scared Of?” has is that it’s just too long, no debut album needs to be fourteen songs long, it should be short, snappy and to the point, something that announces your arrival, not a fourteen track album of which around 40% is just filler material that’d be served better as a b-side.

Tonight Alive are a fun band, and when they’re good, they’re very good, but they will need to follow up this album with an absolute blinder to stay relevant otherwise they’ll just end up on top of the big pile of those gone before them.


'What Are You So Scared Of?' is out early-2012 through Fearless Records.

Chris Marshman

Alter The Press!