For Fans Of
The pop-rock and pop-punk landscapes of today are mainly dominated by dudes. That’s not an opinion, that’s just an irrefutable fact. Go to any local show or check through your iTunes Library and you’ll find male after male filling out band lineup after band lineup. So it is refreshing to have a young woman singing within the same parameters of the genre, and to do it as well as, if not better than her male counterparts. Maybe that in itself is a sad thing; that we get excited or have to make special mention over a break in the ever-growing sausage-fest conga line of the genre, but hey, more power to this Sydney four-piece and their singer/guitarist, Bonnie Fraser.
So now, the main order of business is the band’s new EP, ‘A Place Apart’, and the question surrounding it – is it any good? Oh boy, is it ever.
It’s a short, but very sweet, EP that gives big nods and warm smiles to bands like All Time Low and Short Stack (*shudders briefly and prays for forgiveness*) in terms of song writing and in just how catchy these tracks actually are. Of course, as you should hopefully be able to distinguish, having catchy songs doesn’t automatically mean that they are good songs, but thankfully Stand Atlantic have managed to balance out what is an often unbalanced sound for good measure.
There is also an extra bit of crunch and grit to the guitars and “breakdowns” that brings out a strong Tonight Alive vibe, and this is most evident on the punchy ‘Just Like You’, and again on the overly melodic ‘Tonight We Stay‘ – both great songs. These two songs also accent the solid mix that makes this EP stand out from the local products of their peers. Furthermore, the one song that comes the most close to being a truly fast, angst-ridden pop-punk number is ‘Paper Skin’, which is definitely the first great song on offer.
The last track and most recent single, ‘Wasteland’ is a pretty fucking solid track that closes out the EP in fine fashion. It’s arguably the most memorable song of the bunch and is a great embodiment of the ‘Easycore Revival’ (as some have put it) that’s been taking place lately among bands, with elements of bands like Veara and Four Year Strong being embedded into the instrumentation.
Vocally, Fraser doesn’t do what a lot of other female singers in the genre do, and that’s pulling a “Whitney Houston”. Basically, this is when the singer tends to over sing their lines, something that say, local bands like Smokin’ Mirrors do, and thus it feels less natural and a bit more forced. That isn’t really a problem here, thankfully, and to be fair, male singers pull that shit too. Of course, lyrically this isn’t very complex and honestly, neither are the songs, but for their merit, they are good songs at the end of the day, and as such, there is a metric fuck ton (yes, that is the scientific term) of potential here.
Stand Atlantic are a pop-rock band who really manage to balance out both the ‘pop’ and ‘rock’ aspects of their sound without having it backfire in their faces. ‘A Place Apart’ is a short listen, but a very sweet and solid one at that. Remember that quality trumps quantity each and every time, like how scissors fucks up paper’s shit each and every goddamn time they meet up. It’s just always messy for everyone involved.
2. Tonight We Stay
3. Paper Skin
4. Just Like You