Tonight Alive – The Other Side

The Other Side

Tonight Alive – The Other Side
Released 9th September 2013

Music is a tough industry. Getting to the top is tough, but just getting recognised is a struggle in itself. For a while it looked like, quote/unquote Australian pop-punkers, Tonight Alive could have been contenders.

Their debut album, What Are You So Scared Of?, is an album of confrontation. Taking elements from across the pop-punk palette, Tonight Alive crafted the perfect ode to the genre. Album two, The Other Side, sees the band add their own colours to the mix. Vibrant, defiant and laced with subtle unease, The Other Side is the bigger album, with an arching message about moving on and walking away.

The frustration of romance often acts as the antihero to The Other Side’s heroic moral. Title track, The Other Side views it with poignant nostalgia while Don’t Wish angers with foolhardy confusion. Tonight Alive handle tired subjects with refreshing care and offer new angles on old questions. Somewhen in the past two years, amidst a blizzard of touring that’s taken them around the world again and again, Tonight Alive got wise.

It’s not just the brash snarl of the band that has matured with age. From the rhythmic crashes and buoyant riffs to the lyrical side-swipes and vocal flourish, Tonight Alive have grown up and out. The darting hip-hop strut that the band use to galvanise live shows has been wrestled into submission and used to give The Other Side a skipping confidence. It ducks, it bounds, it rushes forward then falls back. It’s rather sure of itself.

There’s no glimmer of arrogance though. There’s no back patting or ego rewarding bouts of excess. The Other Side is hugely confident, but tracks like Lonely Girl and The Ocean create a shadow of unease that gives the album its dark side.

This world isn’t black and white, and neither is The Other Side. Balancing the dark with the light can create a muddy grey but Tonight Alive are versed in their art. Crafting explosions of colour, the band share warnings, hopes and a large chunk of self.

Beyond all; beyond the lyrical wise, the musical deviations and the gentle meldings that have honed Tonight Alive from blunt hammer-blow to precise scalpel nick, is just how playful The Other Side is. As a creature of both beauty and power; darting between the extremes with little time for mediocrity, The Other Side drags emotions this was and that.  With passionate drive, the whole record ebbs with a comfortable sense of self and a wicked smirk.

The Other Side is undisputed in its brilliance and Tonight Alive look set to put up a fight if anyone comes after their belt. Yes, they could have been a contender. Instead Tonight Alive have emerged as champions.

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~ by justdip on 04/09/2013.

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