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Tonight Alive - The Other Side (Album Review)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 Written by Heather McDaid

On their debut, Aussie pop-rockers Tonight Alive asked, 'What Are You So Scared Of?'. Well, when you’ve made a dent with a solid debut, the idea of producing a successful follow up is pretty scary. The balance between developing your sound and ensuring that you please the fans is a fine one, but on 'The Other Side' Tonight Alive are in confident mood.

Between the undeniable hooks, rock flavours and Jenna McDougall’s upfront lyrics, this is some of the catchiest, most enjoyable music they've created to date. Lonely Girl leans more to the poppy end of their spectrum, but blends relatable themes with strong hits of melody.

Hell And Back is another light affair where cutesy beats lure the listener through the verse before McDougall's vocals cut through the chorus with elegance. The Ocean is a personal track for the frontwoman, dealing with her issues with eczema and the effects it had on her: “It feels like the ocean lies inside of me.”  

The standout is The Fire, a genuine powerhouse. Recalling Senses Fail's sleek guitar work throughout, this shows just how enjoyable Tonight Alive’s heavier tracks are, especially when the instrumental interlude takes to the fore. Ending on the opposite end of the scale to the opener, You Don't Owe Me Anything opts for subtle rock influences in a ballad-esque number, with its power lying in a soaring chorus.

And though many of the compliments fall to the vocals, the rest of the band certainly cannot be overlooked. Take Whakaio Taahi's sweeping guitar on certain numbers, which brings his personality to the tracks and creates the driving force in their catchiness.

'The Other Side' is genuinely difficult to find fault with. The common comparisons for any female-fronted band are there from time to time, but this album is set to firmly separate Tonight Alive from their peers. The lyrics are easy to relate to and the songs themselves come from a more confident band, fully aware of their potential. They've bet big and it's paid off.

Tonight Alive UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Sun September 29th 2013 - BRIGHTON Haunt
Tue October 1st 2013 - BIRMINGHAM Institute Library
Wed October 2nd 2013 - GLASGOW Glasgow Garage
Thu October 3rd 2013 - MANCHESTER Academy 3
Fri October 4th 2013 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Sun October 6th 2013 - BELFAST Oh Yeah music Centre
Tue October 8th 2013 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Wed October 9th 2013 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Fri October 11th 2013 - LEEDS Cockpit
Sat October 12th 2013 - COVENTRY Kasbah (formerly The Colosseum)

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