It's an unlikely tale. Rising from the fevered hotbed of Sydney, Australia's underground hardcore scene, boy meets girl. Or rather, two boys meet girl to make kick-ass rock music.
Try to keep up - the story goes something like this...
Guitarist Whakaio Taahi and his compadre bass player, Cameron Adler, needed a frontman for a rock project. Scrap that. Frontwoman. Enter ingénue-with-attitude, Jenna McDougall - as soon as the sixteen-year-old songstress' soaring contralto and sweet strains took the mic to their songs, something clicked. Already onboard were rhythm axeman Jake Hardy and new recruit, drummer Matt Best - a childhood buddy of Whakaio's. One jam later, the writing was on the wall. Tonight Alive were up and running, pedal to the metal.
The band stepped up, and fast. Songs honed, stagecraft already a dead cert, they entered Sydney's subterranean circuit of metalcore and heavy bands, playing their own brand of catchy-as-all-hell pop-punk... and promptly took the scene by storm, developing a rabid young fanbase in thrall to the band's ebullient, fist-pumping anthemery, arena-sized hooks and high-voltage live performances. Right from word go, it was clear Tonight Alive were going somewhere.
What really lifts Tonight Alive above another female-fronted pop-rock band is their muscular musicality, a deft sense of dynamic, a way of shifting seamlessly from the big riffs and breakdowns, to allow space and the sensibility of Jenna's sweetly sung melodies to shine through. The hardcore heritage has set them in good stead - these kids have some bad-ass chops. Underpinned by Best's impassioned, athletic drumming, the mercurial undertow of Adler's tasteful basswork and Hardy's meat'n' potato riffery, Whakaio lays down the sort of colour, texture and zinging, adrenalizing leadlines that sing like a wire fence line being drawn taut.
She's no blonde bombshell, that's for sure, but Jenna and her band may very well be the bomb: Tonight Alive are gonna blow up big-time. Prepare yourself, people. Tonight Alive are here, and they're on fire.