Recently becoming one of Australia’s leading roles in the countries’ pop-punk and emo scene, the rise of Tonight Alive is an interesting story. The personal story of vocalist Jenna McDougall has impacted the bands message and music significantly, especially over the past couple of albums. The announcement of this new Tonight Alive album came also with the departure of guitarist Whakaio Taahi, so it’s fair to say this could’ve been a turning point for the band, perhaps a chance for a new direction? But it’s hard to see them going anywhere but up, even after Taahi’s parting.
A very eerie introduction into Underworld, ‘Book Of Love’ turns out to be a solid opener with McDougall showing off her impressive vocal ranges, but its next track ‘Temple’ that really gets the tempo going. On the surface ‘Temple’ hosts heavier undertones with a seriously infectious chorus but lyrically encounters topics which McDougall has gone through, with the lines like “my body is a temple, tell me why it hurts like hell.” Jake Hardy stepping up to sole guitar player on this predominantly rockier track that has enough to make you want to go wild.
The soothingly soulful sounds of ‘Disappear’ features the blissful vocals of PVRIS singer Lynn Gunn, the prominent line ‘we could disappear for a while’ used throughout by both. As much as Gunn’s vocals are used sparsely it’s easy to hear some sort of influence in the instrumentals which are reminiscent of PVRIS’ newest album All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell. They’ve proved that this album can be hopeful and charming like on the track ‘Just For Now’ with its ‘living in the moment’ feel and hosting some sweet and mystical instrumentals balanced with McDougall’s soaring vocals. But it’s not all happy go lucky, ‘The Other’ balanced it out with the relatable and realistic notions of being just a little bit different.
To hear a band amongst this scene that’s not wallowing in self-pity, but instead turning bad situations into inspiring and well written tracks, it’s refreshing to say the least. Every song holds a statement that is easy to take what you will from it and making your very own Underworld.