Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Tonight Alive – Starlight

That Sophie Ellis-Bextor song is holding up, isn’t it?


[Video]
[5.44]

Brad Shoup: A crustpunk’s anthem on a pop-punk budget, “Starlight” shamelessly pulls the economic rug from under its subjects to improve on the us-teens-against-the-world song model. You want to talk about “kinda funny”? I remember a time in pop-punk when the opening riffage would have been drawn out over an entire song, not broken out for the chorus after a bunch of moony arpeggiation. Call it Para-moronic.
[3]

Michaela Drapes: Is the world really crying out for an Australian Paramore? At least Hayley Williams and company had a rough-and-tumble charm; the squeaky-clean Tonight Alive is doomed to be banal from the get-go.
[5]

Jer Fairall: Crunchy guitar pop less notable for its girl singer than for its resurrection of the mammoth, pummelling, muted-chord sound of Jimmy Eat World’s harder stuff. It’s executed with energy and vigour but still rote enough that I really hope for their sakes that they have at least one or two more tricks up their sleeves.
[6]

Alfred Soto: So few songs deal with money and how it’s spent that I’m willing to cut this generic hunk of rockarama some slack. I hope these kids invested their record company advance wisely.
[3]

Katherine St Asaph: Call me callous, but I’m convinced her poverty consists of her parents cutting off her allowance and buying her artfully torn pants, not skinny jeans and nice things, and that her cash will outlast his love — and never mind that Tonight Alive’s tours and merch will price them away from the truly broke. But they’re kids, and their surroundings are free; when they rush the rhythm and shout the words to the chorus, I’m also convinced they’re feeling the same pull Sophie Ellis-Bextor did.
[6]

Edward Okulicz: I don’t care about her financial problems, or otherwise, because her tone could have been used in service of nearly anything, and not necessarily a problem. The riff under the chorus, though? As good as any punk-pop band working today could muster.
[7]

Jonathan Bradley: There’s a problem with fetishizing youth, particularly in genres whose continued vitality is so bound up with their relevance to young people. And yet Tonight Alive is a band with a singer in the mold of Hayley Williams and Cassadee Pope and a single produced by Mark Trombino of Blink-182 vintage, who performs these power chord riffs and rhymes “funny” and “money” as if countless others had not done the same before them. The chorus is fun but not particularly memorable, and none of the sentiments stand out as worth scrawling on a notebook or school desk, but there’s such a marvellous vitality in the performance: a lack of the sort of guile that would, in more experienced hands, turn something this modest into a mediocrity.  
[7]

Ian Mathers: If you’d told me this was a new Paramore single, not only would I have believed you but I would have said something like their singles haven’t been this straightforwardly pleasurable in quite a while, maybe ever. The way the chorus switches from smoothly anthemic to clipped and thrashy is the sort of thing that 18-year-old me found utterly sublime (and 30-year old me still thinks is pretty nifty), and if the appeal of “Starlight” is at least partially nostalgic for me, it’s still genuinely appealing.
[7]

Jake Cleland: I saw these pop-punks for $12 (plus $3 for the wine) what feels like last week, and despite the shitty quality of the sound system they got the heels of the black-clad kids in the crowd kicking. They wear their influences on their tattoo sleeves (more Hey Monday than Paramore, for the record), but it’s hard to fault music so derivative when it’s derivative of such a good time.
[5]

One Response to “Tonight Alive – Starlight”

  1. I would have fucking loved this song when I was 13. I’m just saying, I would have probably memorized the entire album.