Stand Atlantic are back with a brand new album, following a two-year break! The Australian pop-punkers appear to have returned with a somewhat angsty attitude with ‘f.e.a.r’ (fuck everything and run), following the catchy feel good tunes that ‘Pink Elephant‘ had to offer; which is a surprising yet exciting turnaround for the group.

Lead vocalist Bonnie Fraser spoke about the album’s release and the band’s change in musical direction, previously stating; ‘It’s a fuck you to the conventional bullshit Hollywood-style story that musicians tell you fell out of their ass. If you think I am a creative or a visionary, I am not. I refuse to be immortalised as anything other than a collection of erratic, irrational, and oxygen-starved emotions I wrote on a page just to be able to breathe.

The first song from ‘f.e.a.r‘ is ‘Doomsday‘, which starts off with a catchy guitar riff filled to the brim with synths; enhancing the track to its full potential. It seems to discuss Fraser’s honest and real experience with mental health, with her singing ‘I don’t know what to say / I don’t know what to say / I’m talkin’ to myself on a doomsday / Satan cut the brakes / Satan cut the brakes / I’m droppin’ into hell on a Tuesday / Take the hit / I might as well lose my head / Still don’t know what to say / I don’t know what to say / I’m talkin’ to myself on a doomsday.’ The song is a treat from start to finish, with a high-energy pop-punk riff that leaves you wanting more. Next up is ‘Pity Party‘, featuring Royal & The Serpent. This is one of the first singles that has been released before the official album release date. This is another great track from Stand Atlantic, attempting to bring a real life experience into their music, which seems very authentic; definitely encapsulating relatable emotion. Royal & The Serpent’s segment in the song also really adds something, with Fraser and Santiago’s voices blending very well together in the outro.

Van Gogh‘ transports us back in time a few years, back to 2018 as the opening chords sound pretty similar to their punk filled track ‘Skinny Dipping‘. However, in an instant you are skyrocketed into pop punk heaven with Bonnie Fraser’s powerful vocals, which carry you on into the infectious chorus; getting you singing along from the first listen! This song is without a doubt one of the highlights from the album!

Next up is ‘Dumb‘, which contains the second feature on the album to date; American emo rap artist Tom the Mail Man. The SoundCloud artist is also a great fit for this collaboration, adding a slightly different flavour yet not steering away from their iconic sound completely. ‘Hair Out‘ immediately sounds like a potential ‘Pink Elephant‘ deluxe version track, but with a lot more grit and honesty at the realm. The song speaks about how Fraser is fed up of trying to impress people in the industry, therefore rebelling and putting a stop to their mould of what they want the band to be.

Deathwish‘ is the third partnership on ‘f.e.a.r‘, this time with rapper Nothing.Nowhere. This track is a fantastic experience throughout the whole 2 minutes and 27 seconds! You are instantly hooked in like a fish caught on a line with the unmistakably catchy guitar riff from the offset. The chorus only elevates the track to its greatest potential, not to mention Nothing,Nowhere’s unforgettable interlude.

Switchblade‘ starts off intriguing the listener with a pounding drum beat, which is incredibly hard to not bop your head to from the first note! This is most certainly one of the most angsty songs on the album to date, with Fraser potentially talking about her toxic personal relationships and realising who they really are on the inside; singing lyrics such as ‘Taking all your cheap shots / Take ’em till my body drops / You say what you wanna say / (Miss me with your switchblade) / Acid In a deep cut / Got me in a headlock / You say what you wanna say / (Miss me with your switchbladе)’.

‘Nails From The Back’ is up next, which potentially discusses Fraser’s experience with anxiety; feeling like she can’t be herself and feels confined as a result of this. ‘Bloodclot‘ is in the same vein as previous tracks on this album, with Fraser singing honestly about how she has successfully dealt with toxic people, trying to remove all negative energy from her life to make her happier. ‘Don’t Talk (To Me)’ appears to be one of the darkest songs on the album as a whole, with Bonnie Fraser seemingly talking about her very personal experience with thinking suicidal thoughts in the past and how she has felt possibly the lowest she has ever felt in her life; ‘Yeah, blood in the bath / That’s where I’m at / Oh no, oh no, oh no / Blood in the bath / Body in a bag / Dunno, dunno, dunno / Don’t talk to me, I’m a loner / I will only bleed on your cold shoulder / Oh, blood in the bath, blood in the bath.’

‘XO’ starts off on a good note with a synth driven riff taking the lead initially. However, like a lot of songs on the album you are then propelled into a pop-punk explosion. The song discusses the band’s backlash that they faced following the release of their previous album ‘Pink Elephant’ and the negativity surrounding it from the press and industry peers. Following this is the track ‘Cabin Fever’, which almost takes the listener down the hip-hop route with the types of instrumentalization used. This is the last collaboration on the album, with a special segment from her Mum. This is another song which tells the story of how music industry executives have messed her and the rest of the band as a result, heading to California to try and drown her sorrows.

The second to last song is ‘Molotov (OK)‘, which is a clapback towards her homophobic ex-school teacher; therefore finally accepting who she is and is okay with that. This is most definitely the heaviest and rawest song on the entire release; you can really feel her anger and hurt inside as she’s singing the song, undeniably the most personal song on the record.

‘f.e.a.r’ ends on a much happier and funnier note with the last track ‘I Wonder What Garlic Bread They Eat At Mensa‘ showcasing the band’s time in the studio recording the album and feeling positive with the result.

Overall, ‘f.e.a.r.’ is a real honest insight into the struggles that Bonnie Fraser and the rest of the band have faced regarding acceptance and dealing with toxicity in their personal and professional lives. This is a sure sign that Stand Atlantic are more than ready to start their musical journey as a band a little differently now; owning who they are and it most certainly is working out well for them!

‘f.e.a.r.’ is out now via Hopeless Records.

Verdict: 4/5

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