Review Summary: A more-than-solid blast of pop punk that gallops forward and is over as soon as it came and leaves the listener hungry for more.5 of 6 thought this review was well written
For those unaware of the female-fronted pop punk band Tonight Alive, they formed in 2008 when guitarist Whakaio Taahi and bassist Cameron Adler met then-sixteen year old Jenna McDougall and drummer Matt Best and Jake Hardy in Sydney, Australia. After playing around local youth clubs they amassed a decent-sized following and entered the studio to record a self-funded debut EP entitled All Shapes And Disguises. Following sales of 20,000 copies of that particular EP, the band proceeded to record another EP and in 2011 they landed a deal with Fearless Records and produced a great debut a year later. The band's musical styling has landed them in the pop-punk bracket with infectious choruses and overly catchy musicianship, sounding like a more-enthusiastic version of Paramore. They use the dual guitars of Whakaio and Jake to create a nice harmony and lay Jenna's arsenal of primarily higher notes over the top of this. Their music has led to them playing Soundwave Festival alongside Framing Hanley, and they also took Rufiq on the tour promoting their debut album and that particular album achieved a respectable position on the US Rock Charts upon release.
The band's second EP was released in 2010 containing three songs and entitled Consider This, clocking in at under nine minutes and provides a hugely enjoyable experience crammed into that space of time. Not to state the obvious, but nine minutes might sound a tad on the short size even for an EP but Tonight Alive were wise and made sure that instead of over-stretching themselves they would focus on producing three fantastic songs. All three songs on this EP are in a similar vein to their other material but with perhaps more of an emphasis on showing off Jenna's vocals. On here she once again sticks primarily to her higher range and occasionally even throws in a falsetto, as is found on the first of the three songs most dominantly. At heart this is still very much a generic pop-punk EP, but it is done with such utter conviction and a lot of talent behind it that it manages to stand out a little more than every other Blink-182 clone.
The guitar lines weave together very well on here, possibly better so than any other band in their genre. On the opener Jake plays a few chords and leaves the final one ringing out whilst Whakaio plays a string of higher notes that could not create a better backdrop for the rest of the band. The drumming is also very well played on here with some brilliant fills thrown in such as before the chorus to Five Years which is pure candy for the ears. On Revenge And It's Thrills he even plays a monster of a drum roll that could not have been better integrated to it. It is a shame that the bass work can not be heard on here at all and is instead buried in the mix that is a little heavy on over-producing the drums and guitars. This was perhaps the most glaring error that the band made on this EP in that the production just detracts a little from it with every instrument that is audible sounding too glossy and Jenna at times straining to heard atop the overbearing mess of a production job. The other criticism that can be leveled at this EP is the one that is true of nearly every pop-punk band in that the lyricism is a little immature. Whilst this is not detrimental to this recording and certainly does not detract much from it, it is a little irritating to hear a band that are so good at what they do attempt to appeal to twelve year old radio slaves who do not know anything outside their heartache-obsessed idols they hear.
For saying that it was just an EP to provide more of the same for their fan base that has a ridiculously short running time, Consider This was a brilliant follow-up to their first recording. Each song on here is a great listen that just sounds a bit too over-produced and as such begins to grate on you after a while. Every member of the band is among the most talented in their genre and Jenna puts in a fantastic performance, pouring her soul into every word. I recommend this highly to anyone who wants a well-written dose of catchy music that does not rely on playing as insanely technical as possible but would rather focus on writing something memorable. At less than ten minutes it really would not hurt to check this out and formulate ones own opinion of it.