Tonight We Fight

Table For Two EP

Written by: TL on 07/10/2013 19:08:16

Tonight We Fight are a young, aspiring pop-punk - would-be quintet if they weren't currently on the lookout for a bassist - from Las Vegas. I think I can safely write that without offending anybody, because with their EP "Table For Two" from April, it seems pretty clear that the guys intend to make their first steps towards the ranks of declared influences like Four Year Strong, Yellowcard and New Found Glory. With the echoing delay of the production on their guitars on here however, the six track EP sooner had me thinking of Cartel and especially Amber Pacific, while singer Brandon Dold could fool me into thinking he's a twin of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Ronnie Winter, while the overall attitude and energy of the record feels a bit like that of You Me At Six's debut record "Take Off Your Colours".

That only means that the band has happened upon a different nuance of pop-punk than their foremost inspirations though, as the mainstay of their music is still made up of highly melodious guitars, one playing simple sparking leads and the other churning power chords underneath, while the rhythm section seeks to facilitate both energy and pathos. Dold's vocals - like the incredibly similar Winters - fit this sound fine, and both he and the gang vocals that occasionally support him, do the record well by delivering the lines with conviction, despite the lyrics being noticeably youthful.

The best in this department comes early in opener "Against All Odds", which comes off less banal than it could with it's confessional "I'm just a man with a million distractions / Don't have a plan, just a need for action / I'll do what I can but nothing's guaranteed / I promise I'll keep trying, don't give up on me". The title track does not avoid cornyness in complaining about feeling invisible to a perfect girl, and while "There's Always A Girl" is trying to be encouraging, the very phrase that coins it inadvertently reads as much like "there's always another girl, so whatever" as the more likely intended and uplifting "There's a perfect someone for everybody". I mean, sorry if I'm wrong, but tell me doesn't the line "There's always a girl and that's you tonight" come off a little unfortunate?

The lyrics combine with the production job that feels cut and pasted from one track to the other five, in betraying the early nature of this work, and in making the EP feel a bit samey coming across the mid-section, though an almost all acoustic approach does mix things up on fifth track "Thought You Should Know". And considering exactly the band's youth, I think they should still be proud of "Table For Two", because it has an energy and a full enough sound to have gotten me interested in the first place, and I like a detail like how the band at least backdrops a descent into a Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!-ish breakdown in "Ocean Of Doubt" with a bit of stadium-sized tremolo to keep the part from going full retard. That being said, this is just a foundation stone, and there's clearly work to be done both when it comes to lyrics, and in regards to writing more elegant part-to-part transitions and developing song ideas to a point where they stand more apart from each other than they do here.


Download: Against All Odds, Thought You Should Know, Nevermind
For The Fans Of: Amber Pacific, Cartel, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, You Me At Six

Release Date 07.04.2013

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