Anyone looking for a new fresh-faced-middle-class-teen-angst band should look no further: these younglings from Sydney, Australia, should be it. Formed in 2008, Tonight Alive caught the eye of producer Mark Trombino (the man we have to thank for Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World and The Starting Line) in late 2010. Their first studio album, What Are You So Scared Of? was released in October last year and features an illustration of a rather morose-looking girl on its cover.
Tonight Alive has bore numerous comparisons to American pop-punk darlings Paramore, and not without reason. Frontwoman Jenna McDougall’s soaring contralto gives Hayley Williams’ signature vocals a run for their money and has the whole bubblegum-cute punk-rocker-chick thing down to a tee. McDougall is backed by guitarists Whakaio Taahi, Jake Hardy and Cam Adler with band-member Matt Best on the drums.
True to their Aussie roots, the band seems to veer more towards beach-blonde surfer locks than eyeliner and floppy black hair, which makes for a refreshing difference. And perhaps their origins also have some part in the youthful exuberance in their sound. Fake It has all the bouncy, noisy energy required of a catchy teenage anthem and single Starlight shows the group is comfortable venturing into a softer, sweeter and more balladsy place.
We can easily imagine many bopping along contentedly to their vivacious riffs – and soon, once these kids really inevitably blow up on the world stage, we imagine many more will.
Tonight Alive play Hidden Agenda on Sun Sep 23. Tickets: White Noise Records; 2591 0499.