Review Summary: A fantastic pop punk album coupling energetic instrumentals with one of the best vocal performances in recent memory
As far as pop-punk is concerned, much of it is a place where no grown man should ever dwell. The immaturity of the genre centred around simplistic three chord guitar work and teenage angst-filled lyrics and vocals that helped bands such as Green Day and Simple Plan rise to fame just has that feel of "im too old for this now" that one feels once they hear it past their early teens. Amidst this pool of mediocrity however their are a few bands that one should consider listening to purely for the fact they have something that stands out a little more. In the case of Blink-182 it was the enjoyable enough guitar work and the balls behind everything, with Fit For Rivals the overall package was impressive but Renee Phoenix made their debut so incredible to listen to. Another one of these bands is five-piece Australian band Tonight Alive who released their debut in October 2011, or February 2012 in the U.S to a large amount of praise.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature of this album is the instantly distinguishable and highly enjoyable vocal work from Jenna McDougall. She has a beautiful voice that is complimented by a fairly wide range best displayed on the fantastic song Sure As Hell. Lasting a little over three minutes, this gem of a song packs a real punch for the simple fact that her voice is so powerful. She has strong control over the notes in the sense that every time the band change the sound up a little bit by either changing pace or just on each song she comes with a flawless and different delivery. Jenna Mcdougall is perhaps the most talented pop punk vocalist out there, and could certainly make a dent in any genre that she cared to attempt with her soul-filled delivery.
Whilst the guitar work on here is nothing revolutionary and certainly does not attempt to deviate too much from the tried formula of over-using a handful of chords, the band chose their chord patterns really well to give off an interesting sound to this album. This is not a brash loud attack on the political regime as found in American Idiot but is more the sound of a band enjoying what they do and not giving two shakes what anyone else thinks of them. There is a lot of passion behind the playing and it carries a lot of fun and enjoyable factors that one can just kick back and indulge in. The drumming is simplistic thudding but certainly carries a solid rhythm and makes for a solid foundation upon which the guitarists can repeatedly play their chords over the top of whilst occasionally shifting it up to give off an even more melodic feel to them.
The actual songs are all incredibly solid and coherent with a nice amount of fun to be gained from listening to them. In The First Place is a short and nice dose of rock music with some great musicianship and a vocal performance to die for but it is the closing song, the longest track on the album and also the title track, which steal the show. This song is a fun, energetic blast to listen to and definitely one of the best songs its genre has ever produced and a pop punk masterpiece. If you are unfamiliar with this band then this is the song to start off with. Definitely consider picking this up as it is a more than refreshing dose of pop punk at its absolute best.