Stand Atlantic "Skinny Dipping" Review

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Australian trio Stand Atlantic’s Skinny Dipping puts a fresh spin on the mix of aggression and catchiness that has come to be expected within the pop-punk genre. Right from the first notes, Stand Atlantic come across as seasoned and matured, despite this being their debut full-length record. The ten songs featured on the album explore similar themes to create a cohesive message across its entirety, taking the listener on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

The first single and opening track “Lavender Bones” introduces the record with soaring guitars and heavy lyrics of introspection and reflection, with vocalist Bonnie Fraser delivering powerful lyrics such as “nothing’s enough, I rinse myself in the dirt, sold all my time to a plastic ecstasy” with an equally as powerful vocal performance that immediately captures the listener’s full attention. A song about coming to terms with one’s own flaws and shortcomings and growing to accept and love oneself, the song carries an important message that is sure to resonate with many. This theme pops back up at many points throughout the record, but it is especially prevalent in the album’s title track “Skinny Dipping,” where Bonnie explores the self-doubt and indecision that comes along with internal struggle and finding one’s way.

Other album highlights include ballad “Toothpick,” a stripped back, clean guitar-driven tune with emotive lyrics such as “I wish I was just as strong as I make myself out to be,” which transitions smoothly into “Burn in the Afterthought,” a mid-tempo and ambient track further showcasing the band’s versatility. “Clay,” which features Hannah Hermione Greenwood, brings the energy back up with pounding drums and aggressive guitars that are a strong point for the trio. The album closes with “Roses,” a song that brings the themes of self-growth and acceptance full circle as it proclaims, “I shed all the skin that’s dead and gone,” still speaking about the uncertainty of coming to terms with oneself but spinning it with an optimistic twist and finishing on a hopeful note.

Skinny Dipping tells a meaningful story of someone feeling lost in their own skin and learning to be comfortable with themselves. Illustrating that story with instrumentals that keep the listener intrigued and vocals that accurately and powerfully convey the emotions behind the lyrics, Stand Atlantic have created an album in which many will find comfort.

By Trevor Hancock