Artist: Tonight Alive
Album: The Other Side
Genre: Pop rock
Record Label: Fearless Records
Tonight Alive have produced an album full of a vibrant mixture of pop-rock and mid-2000s post-hardcore with their latest effort, The Other Side. This cross-influence of genres creates an oddly addicting sound and shows immense improvement from 2011’s What Are You So Scared Of? This collection of songs, released by the female-fronted Australian five-piece are deeper, more diverse and overall catchier than anything we have heard from Tonight Alive yet in their career.
The record opens with “The Ocean,” a fast-paced rock track that does its job of setting up the tempo for the rest of The Other Side. “The Ocean” is aggressive and proves to be the first installment of many confessional pieces delivered from frontwoman Jenna McDougall. She belts a chorus of, “Some days it feels like the ocean lies inside of me,” the first of many personal lines found placed throughout the record’s duration. She does a fantastic job of being direct and personal in her lyricism on The Other Side, while still having the ability to write a lyric that the masses can relate to.
The record continues to flow with solid tracks such as “Don’t Wish” and “Hell and Back,” numbers that both mirror dark melodies worthy of Ville Valo. “Hell and Back” has a chorus that has the ability to put hair on edge, with McDougall’s vocals cutting through the rest of the track to deliver the lines, “As the walls crash down, I felt it slip away. Because I went to Hell and back just to be where I am today.”
The Other Side peaks with the stand-out sixth track, “The Fire.” Containing enough post-hardcore elements (such as the progressive bridge or the finger-tapped introduction) to fit in between The Used’s self-titled effort or Senses Fail’s Let It Enfold You, “The Fire” packs a much-needed punch. Just when the record begins to drag, Tonight Alive provides the listener with a wake up call in this track.
If “The Fire” is the best track on The Other Side, then “You Don’t Owe Me Anything” is the number fans will find most memorable on the record. A catchy, ballad-infused closer, “You Don’t Owe Me Anything” emcompasses everything Tonight Alive released on this album in one track. It is personal, honest, catchy and, at times, edgy. If “The Ocean” opened the record strong, then “You Don’t Owe Me Anything” closes the record even stronger. Overall, The Other Side shows strides of improvement from America’s favorite Australian rock band.
By Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Check out “The Fire” here: