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First Take: Tonight Alive – ‘How Does It Feel’

From the the colourful rebirth of ‘Human Interaction’, the soaring bounce of ‘To Be Free’ and the free-spirited escape of ‘Drive’, it’d be all to easy to assume Tonight Alive’s ‘Limitless’ is a record of light and more light. It’s never that simple though.

In asking ‘How Does It Feel’, Tonight Alive channel the spirit of second album ‘The Other Side’ as they throw a cautionary glance over their shoulder to the path that’s led them this far. An adventure in shadow.

There’s a touch of early nu-metal swagger as powerful, frantic guitars tease the track’s soaring flight before those massive pop sensibilities take them somewhere serene and reflective. ‘How Does It Feel’ hits hard but this isn’t fan service or by-the-book throwback, instead the track takes the anger and frustration of the past and twists it in an anthem of empowerment. If there’s a song to mark the transition between Tonight Alive of old and the band set to drop their most daring album yet, this is it.

The gritted teeth lyrics growl with angst but where once Jenna McDougall would have snarled and spat in an attempt to purge those demons, now she simply laughs. (3:05 for The Chuckle of 2016, laughter fans.)

The band isn’t shrugging off their journey or the battles they’ve been through, though. As more and more of the record is unveiled, we’re shown just how dark things can get which makes the shining light of ‘Limitless’ all the more wonderful. ‘How Does It Feel’ shows a band growing past the pain that once defined them as they try and turn it into a positive. The fact this track is probably one of the most exhilarating songs Tonight Alive have ever written is just a happy bonus. We might not know how it feels but it sounds amazing.