Full of emotional feels, hooks and urgency The Other Side was Tonight Alive’s most defining moment since their inception in 2008. The onus was on them to either churn out something they had seemingly perfected, keeping their fan base content or to expand upon their sound, potentially alienating those who adore them.
The quintet decided for the latter and in fact their third record, the aptly title, Limitless, could do just that. So much so that the pop punk fuelled riffs of yore have been binned in favour for popular electronics.
It might make it less dangerous to the ear, however, the danger is in the risks that have been taken. Opener ‘To Be Free’ has scintillating synths that feel like a harpoon to the chest while the chorus and “I am limitless” refrain is euphoric. It leaves you gasping for ‘Oxygen’. However, instead of breathing it in, the power pop ballad will leave you choking on the cheese seeping out.
From there the cinematic electronics take center stage, giving Jenna McDougall’s voice a chance to flourish in vast soundscapes such as ‘Human Interactions‘ and depending on what side of the fence you sit on, it might not be the best thing for the entire record.
It takes up until the halfway point of Limitless to see the first sense of haste and a taste of he Tonight Alive of old, with mean rhythms, woah ohs and a chorus that’s as infectious as Ebola running free through ‘How Does It Feel‘.
It is only a fleeting visit, though, as they return to songs likely to appear on a chick flick or as an inspirational backdrop for hopefuls on a TV talent show contest.
You have to admire the cajones that the Aussies have for their withdrawal from the pop punk scene. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but ask them if they care, as Jenna croons, “There not going to change the world, we are”.