As a relatively unknown band, in June of this year, Australian natives Tonight Alive released arguably one of the year’s better EPs. All Shapes & Disguises was a pop-rock enthusiast’s dream; it is carefully crafted with memorable hooks, strong vocals and musicianship that soars above many of their peers. Though the comparisons to Paramore are obvious, Tonight Alive brings a youthful vigor to the genre that is fresh compared to all of the contemporary female fronted pop-rock derivatives. Their massive potential has not gone unnoticed; the group recently inked a deal with major label Sony and has plans to record their debut full-length with eminent producer Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line, Valencia). Before they make the jump across waters, the quintet has released Consider This to tide fans over. However, Tonight Alive’s latest offering is subpar in comparison to their previous release. The songs are still inherently catchy, but sound like b-sides of All Shapes & Disguises. They lack the same spark and appeal that was prevalent in their last EP.
While the band’s youth was its greatest asset in All Shapes & Disguises, in Consider This, youth is the cause of their problems. This is evident from the opening notes of “Revenge And Its Thrills”. Musically, the riff is very messy in execution. With the guitar at the center of attention, this folly is especially apparent. In addition to this musical misstep, the melody and hook of “Revenge And Its Thrills” is lacking. It does not have the same lasting value or appeal of the songs on All Shapes & Disguises. On the upside, vocalist Jenna McDougall’s vocals are as strong as ever. Additionally, McDougall’s vocals are showcased in the subsequent track “Five Years”. Her strong voice dominates the forefront, selling the song’s melody and hook. However, “Five Years” is not without its flaws; its blunder is its lyrics, specifically McDougall’s choice of words. The line in question is “Please don’t make me throw up”, a phrase that is certainly cringe inducing. Luckily, Consider This ends on quite the high note. “Thankyou and Goodnight” is the pop-punk amalgam of Tonight Alive’s strongest qualities. It is fun and accessible.
Despite the aforementioned criticisms of the EP, Consider This is better than most of what the genre has to offer. But as we have seen in their previous works, Tonight Alive is certainly capable of writing stellar pop-rock songs. To put it bluntly, the tracks on the new EP fall very short of expectations. Hopefully, Consider This will just a minor bump in the road. The band has all the potential in the world. With Mark Trombino at the helm, let us see if they can do it. Consider Tonight Alive a band to watch closely in 2011.
2. Consider This
3. Thankyou And Goodnight
Tonight Alive are a 5 piece pop-punk band from Sydney, Australia. Fronted by 17 year old Jenna, the band combine earnest lyrics and youthful energy. Fans of Paramore will enjoy Tonight Alive-one of the most talented up-and-coming bands.
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