Tonight Alive - The Other Side
Let's get the lazy comparison out of the way first: Tonight Alive are not just the Aussie Paramore despite the obvious similarities. Foraging the heavier end of the pop-punk spectrum, the five-piece have smartly avoided second album syndrome but not really changing that much. Instead, they've decided to hone their output to deliver a follow-up that is undoubtedly more assured, providing a perfect launch-pad for bigger things to come. And you get the feeling they won't need a line-up shuffle in order to do so.
Obviously it helps when you have a vocalist like Jenna McDougall to call upon, lifting the album's more straightforward verse-chorus-verse slices like 'Don't Wish' and 'Come Home' through sheer verve and considerable punch. Not that the rest of the band are slacking behind her; case in point, 'The Fire' lives through its central riff - but it's no surprise that when The Other Side puts McDougall front-and-centre, it excels. The title track isn't subtle in its structure but is hugely effective with a mighty fine chorus, while the piano-led closer 'You Don't Owe Me Anything' is affecting build-up, before executing a rock version of a Westlife key change to end proceedings on a high. The Other Side rarely deviates from the rule book but on the strength of its craft, we'd happily settle in for another chapter of Tonight Alive right now.