Since their 2018 debut, ‘Skinny Dipping’, Australia’s Stand Atlantic have gone from strength-to-strength, and they only continue to flourish on their follow-up, ‘Pink Elephant’.
‘Like That’ lends itself as an incredibly strong opener. Like any quintessential pop-punk track, it delves into the world of falling head over heels for someone, not quite being able to describe that indescribable feeling, whilst its anthemic chorus starts off this record as it means to go on.
It’s evident on ‘Pink Elephant’ how much the quartet have grown since their debut, a factor which transcends throughout. The strong presence of identity and becoming comfortable with who you are transpire in ‘DWYW’, a song about learning to drown out other peoples’ opinions, whilst ‘Shh’ tells the story of taking control of your own voice instead of allowing others to speak for you, demonstrated in vocalist Bonnie Fraser‘s fantastically feisty screams throughout, in which you can seriously feel every emotion that she wants you to feel.
Slow burner ‘Drink To Drown’ is a beautiful piano-centred ballad surrounding loving someone who isn’t reciprocating the same feelings, with “If you love me, saturate me” summing up all of these emotions within delicately poignant lyrics. Likewise, ‘Silk & Satin’ (a much more sombre pop offering) sums up loneliness and helplessness, “I used to be so sharp / and I used to be so callous / But now I’m silk and satin”, fully showcasing the lyrical ability tht this band possesses.
‘Wavelength’ seriously raises the bar for the band who. although pop-punk at heart, are very clearly trying to evolve and experiment. The track ever so slightly tip toes into heavier waters, but the drop into the chorus makes this power-pop at its finest, no doubt making this a sure fire hit at live shows.
‘Eviligo’ will bound to be the track to catch you off guard. Musically, its melodic pop-infused riffs almost feel like a Taylor Swift song, whilst lyrically describing the notions of stalking someone allows it to jump out from the other songs on the album. It’s a serious contender for a universal album highlight.
Tackling sensitive topics has always been somewhat of a skill for Stand Atlantic. ‘Blurry’ deals with being caught in a toxic relationship, whilst ‘Jurassic Park’ could easily be confused as a party song with its perfect sing-along aesthetic. Yet, after a few listens, you soon realise the importance of this track discussing mental health, but told from the perspective of someone watching a loved one suffer. Again, another credit to the pictures this band can paint with their strong lyrics.
One of the most notable things about the entirety of ‘Pink Elephant’ is this constant succession of hit after hit. At no point does any track feel like a filler, so much so that lead single, ‘Hate Me (Sometimes)’, finds itself in the unusual position at the end of the album, leaving you with the song playing over and over in your head hours after listening to it.
It’s notorious that the sophomore offering often has a lot to live up to after a successful debut, but Stand Atlantic have nothing to worry about with what they’ve brought to the table. ‘Pink Elephant’ is contemporary pop-punk at its finest, but they’ve pushed themselves further, striving for better, and they have well and truly delivered.