Can you hear that? It’s getting louder… it’s shaking the ground, windows are shattering, and it’s splitting your eardrums. It’s the high pitched scream of every teenage girl around the world as the latest album by teen heart throbs 5 Seconds Of Summer is released. This record follows-up their breakthrough self-titled release, ambitiously titled ‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’, and tries to establish the band as musicians and not just the poster boys that they’ve been marketed as with varying degrees of success.
Opening number, ‘Money’, kicks off the album in a powerful way with a huge chorus packed with gang vocals to grab your attention. First single ‘She’s Kinda Hot’ keeps the tempo up, continuing the less-than-serious, All Time Low-esque style which, again, will no doubt be very popular with the millions of fan girls convinced that the song is about them.
Things become somewhat clearer once you find out that the album was produced by John Feldman, who has previously worked with All Time Low, and helps explain why songs like ‘Jet Black Heart’ and ‘Castaway’, whilst both being impressive numbers, sound like they could’ve been lifted from most recent release, ‘Future Hearts’.
Somewhat disappointingly second single, ‘Hey Everybody!’, has a verse almost identical to Duran Duran‘s hit ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’, but thankfully later numbers like ‘Vapor’ and ‘The Girl Who Cried Wolf’ allow 5SOS to flex their creative muscles and gives frontman Luke Hemmings an opportunity to show off his vocal ability, which tends to get drowned out by a catchy hook infused chorus. They also take a darker turn on later track ‘Broken Home’, focusing on a pretty self-explanatory topic which teenagers around the world will no doubt love and relate to, bringing something a bit different to the record.
The thing about ‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’ is that it explains why 5 Seconds Of Summer are marketed as a boy band. Whilst they play their own instruments and write their own songs, there just isn’t anything that distinguishes them from anybody else in the music scene. Every song could be placed seamlessly into any other pop-rock record released this year, and, until they find what is unique about them, they’ll continue to churn out relatively juvenile and unremarkable records that, whilst pleasing dedicated fans across the world, unfortunately don’t have much substance.
Written by Jon Barlow (@Narlow1)