By Samuel Stevens
Release Date: August 7, 2020
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Hopeless Records
Stand Atlantic have been riding a large, wild wave of success since September 2017 with the release of their second EP, Sidewinder. Just over a year later, the four-piece followed up with the release of their debut album, Skinny Dipping, in October of 2018. Both of these releases have lead Stand Atlantic around the world and back following two years of nonstop touring their hard work, resulting in headlining many sold out shows around the globe in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and naturally their home country of Australia.
The band is no stranger to the spotlight being shined on them over the past two years, but with their second album, Pink Elephant, the band came demanding to have the spotlight be theirs going forward. Pink Elephant is Stand Atlantic’s most strong, bold, experimental, and unapologetic album to date. The band put everything on the line and wrote an album so honest that they don’t care what anyone else thinks about these eleven, quite personal tracks. Once again the band entrusted Stevie Knight to produce their new effort. Knight is best known for his production work with artists such as With Confidence, RedHook, and performing in his own band The Dead Love.
Pink Elephant opens with the satisfying track, “Like That.” Which is just your standard, highly energetic pop punk tune you’re already used to from the band. Following is the track, “Shh!” that begins the band’s detour to experimenting with various sounds and instruments on Pink Elephant. “Shh!” is heavy on synth and piano throughout and is about coming to the realization that it’s time for others to stop telling you what to think and start listening to yourself. Don’t speak from your throats, speak from your heart, and people will begin to listen. “You better think with your mouth / Before you shout ’til you bleed / Yeah, yeah, feed in my throat like a leech / Watch what you’re telling yourself,” passionately sings vocalist and guitarist Bonnie Fraser. “Shh!” is also the album’s heaviest track featuring much heavier toned guitars and some screaming from Bonnie.
The band continues to be playful with their sound on the track, “Blurry,” where the band is showcased using spacey sounding guitars over top synth for an almost straight pop tune. “Blurry” is about a relationship with someone that you know you shouldn’t be with, but stay with them anyway, even though you know it’s not good for you. On the powerful, high energy, and the album’s most personal track, “Jurassic Park,” the band puts a different side of mental illness on display to talk about how mental illness affects family, friends, and partners. “Jurassic Park” is a homage to Bonnie’s mom and her strength through a trying situation.
The track, “Wavelength,” touches on a personal relationship of Bonnie’s, full of conflict with poor communication, where not being on the same page, or wavelength as you will, leads to an endless cycle of talking and fighting with one another. “I’m tripping on your wavelength / Better than a way out of this / Wanna slip under your radar, unscarred / To see you reap what you have sown,” sings Fraser. “Wavelength” is another track featuring heavy toned guitars that drive the entire track, it also features an infectious pop infused chorus heavy on the use of vocal effects and vocal cuts.
“Drink To Drown,” takes an even further departure musically with a gloomy piano ballad, with the sprinklings of a string section within the track as well. “Drink To Drown” is a track about not really knowing where you stand, about having a concept of uncertainty. The track, “Silk & Satin,” showcases a slowed down version of Stand Atlantic once again, this time for a downtempo pop tune centered around a beat sounding like water droplets hitting a larger body of water. If you’re familiar with the music of pop artist Melanie Martinez, it’s somewhat resemblant to elements of her song, “Soap.”
Ironically the next track is also titled, “Soap.” Which touches more on the album’s title, Pink Elephant. Each track on the album finds Bonnie coming to terms with a different pink elephant within her life and coming face to face with those uncomfortable experiences. The term pink elephant is a euphemism for hallucinations, usually, but not limited to a drunken state. The eleventh and final track, “Hate Me (Sometimes),” is another infectious, high energy pop punk tune, again experimenting with various vocal effects. “Hate Me (Sometimes)” is about finding it hard to break through your own barriers and the frustration that comes from being your own worst enemy, but at the same time trying to celebrate it as it makes you who you are.