Release Date: 07/08/2020
Record Label: Hopeless Records
For Fans Of: Dream State, Tonight Alive, State Champs
Can you believe it’s been nearly two years since Stand Atlantic released their fantastic debut album, Skinny Dipping? (They just grow up so fast.) Well if that album whetted your appetite, then feast your ears on their follow-up, Pink Elephant. The Australian pop-punk outfit are back with an album that shares its name with a term used to refer to a drunken hallucination, but rest assured there’s nothing imaginary about what you’re hearing; it really does slap that damn hard. Its eleven tracks flit between being explosive, invigorating, and melodically melancholic in a range of styles that showcase the arsenal Stand Atlantic have at their disposal, and the potential this band have to dominate and influence the pop-punk scene for years to come.
Pink Elephant pushes boundaries and that’s exactly what the track ‘Wavelength’ is about, pushing your own boundaries in attempts to understand and connect with another person. It’s a heavier and harder effort on the release, but most importantly it kicks ass. The angsty ‘Hate Me (Sometimes)’ is punk with a punch, but with that irresistible Stand Atlantic charm. The four-piece have energy in abundance when it comes to creating music and the frantic, raw ‘Shh!’ is the perfect example of that, bursting at the seams with a relentless verve and vigour.
The contrasting styles throughout Pink Elephant are individual to each track and the album may have been at risk of being abrasive in that sense as a result. However, it actually contributes to the feeling of this being a complete record, enriched with influences and different musical directions. There are occasions on this release where there aren’t so much pop undercurrents as much as there are pop tidal waves, and we can’t stop riding that wave. The fantastic ‘Eviligo’ and ‘Soap’ capture this in abundance, with the former feeling like naughty Nickelodeon and the latter like Disney after dark. ‘Blurry’ radiates an infectious positivity on the record, akin to a primary school disco but with immeasurably more style, grace, and decorum.
Pink Elephant is so much more than your standard, run of the mill pop-punk record. However, it does feature tracks that would go down a storm at red cup pizza parties everywhere. ‘Jurassic Park’ is dino-mite, pulsating with contagious confidence, jam-packed with sweet guitar riffs, but with a sentimental nod to frontwoman Bonnie Fraser’s Mum and mental health issues that impact upon families. If you haven’t seen the awesome music video for this song, check it out above. The slightly more restrained ‘Like That’ is another example of a fun, playful Stand Atlantic that are growing into their own skin, developing their own image, and forging their own path.
Despite all of the pop-gloss that sugar coats Pink Elephant, there is a vulnerability within Stand Atlantic and that is more noticeable on this release than their previous work. The guard is let down with ‘Drink To Drown’, a beautiful track that proudly wears its heart on its sleeve and doesn’t make any attempts to disguise it. The vocals from Fraser are flawless and the piano is both pure and perfect for the lyrics.
It is a difficult task to follow up an incredibly successful and well-received debut album and not create something that feels lackluster and underwhelming. Stand Atlantic haven’t simply delivered a sequel, they have created a stand-alone installment. Pink Elephant clearly demonstrates a developing identity that sets them apart from others in the scene, but also that they have taken their sound to the next level. We can’t ignore the (pink) elephant in the room any longer; Stand Atlantic are the real deal.
Recommended Track: ‘Jurassic Park’