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ATP! Album Review: Tonight Alive - The Other Side

Put on your Converse and skin-tight band tee and brace yourself, because Tonight Alive’s new album The Other Side is all sorts of pop/rock greatness.

This Australian quintet have been the underdogs for quite some time now, being recognized as the “Australian Paramore,” but as they grow with increasing confidence into their own skin, that shouldn't last much longer. Although the band has been following the footsteps of female-fronted bands such as No Doubt, the powerhouse vocals of Jenna McDougall and equally powerful sounds coming from Whakaio Taahi, Jake Hardy, Cam Adler and Matt Best have proven that Tonight Alive have undeniably become titans of pop/rock.

Their sound has been influenced by the likes of Fall Out Boy, Brand New and Thrill, and you can hear that sound come out in tracks such as “Bathwater” and “Complexes.” Each song represents monumental moments of the past couple of years, whether they relate to the band as a whole or to McDougall, who is the primary songwriter of the group. The first track off the album, “The Ocean,” is the song where McDougall opens up about her struggle with eczema and how it affected her health not only physically but emotionally. She writes on her blog, “Despite the physical pain and discomfort that it put me through I hated the person that it made me. I felt weak and fragile. I felt ugly and embarrassed by the redness and swelling of my skin. The constant itching made me anxious and I had no confidence in myself.. Probably the worst combination of emotions when you have to perform every night.”

Opening up about her struggles have clearly made her a more confident individual, and you can see in the lyrics that her newfound confidence has made her a stronger songwriter. “Don’t Wish” is a very girl power-inspired track, dealing with closing one chapter of life and starting another. You can hear the personal experiences as the words spill out of her mouth, ultimately breaking the mold of anything they’ve done before. “Lonely Girl,” the first single off the new album, has a parallel balance of rock and pop, which compliments the low and falsetto tones of McDougall’s voice.

With a heart pounding drum beat and a set of dark lyrics with a bright melody, Tonight Alive has stayed true to their original sound while evolving as a band and as individual artists. Their sophomore album proves that they are taking charge of their career and it won’t be going anywhere but up.

5/5

Gina Catalano

The Other Side is out September 10th via Fearless Records.