5 Seconds Of Summer's new album 'Sounds Good Feels Good' is out now, and you can read exactly what we made of it below.
A little over a year ago, 5 Seconds Of Summer barged their way into everyone’s consciousness in a flurry of power chords, soaring hooks and American Apparel underwear. Immediately accessible and part-filled with pop-punk bangers, their self-titled debut was a perfect introduction to one of the world’s most exciting new bands.
Now, Luke, Calum, Michael and Ashton are back, and on second effort ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’ they’re all grown up and marking out their grand plan for the future.
It’s a very grand plan, but they do it damn well on ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’.
Clutches of these 14 tracks would sound right at home in stadiums, parts in sweaty clubs and some songs are ready-made for starlit ampitheaters. If you thought 5SOS were just another pop-rock band, prepare to think again.
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First track ‘Money’ opens with static and background chatter before bursting into one of the biggest pop-punk anthems you’ll hear this year. There’s a singalong chorus, a wall of guitars – everything sounds huge.
The likes of that thumping opener and the punked-out ‘Hey Everybody!’ boast a heady mix of All Time Low and Green Day with a sugary-sweet 5SOS twist, plus that unmistakeable John Feldmann stamp, with Feldy having produced the whole album this time around. It’s pop-punk at its most polished, expansive and fun, but that’s not all they have in their armoury.
Rather than feeling like a mash-up of their favourite bands – which is no bad thing – album two finds the four-man phenomenon firming up their identity and becoming their own band.
‘Permanent Vacation’ has a bloody great big chorus and an antsy, filthy rock vibe, while the intoxicating ‘Jet Black Heart’ dials down the tempo but ups the angst with a swirling chorus that belongs on a stormy film soundtrack. Failing that, it’ll fit right in blasted out at the arenas this band sell out across the globe. What’s more, the moody, mournful ‘Catch Fire’ proves there’s much more to the four-piece than three chords and a bunch of adolescent energy.
All four members’ vocal performances are more accomplished than ever and Ashton’s drumming is a highlight – he hits hard, fast and ties everything together expertly, while the orchestral touches on sombre ballad ‘Invisible’ prove they’ve literally and figuratively added a whole bunch of strings to their bow here.
The album’s slower mid-section of ‘Waste The Night’ and ‘Vapor’ cries out for a bit of a kick, but the tempo soon rises with hook-laden ‘Fly Away’ showing the band at their sunniest and most expansive with lyrics like “I want a little bit of California with a little bit of London sky / I want a little bit of open ocean with a New York state of mind.”
Heady atmospherics and a melodramatic, musical-esque lilt to ‘Airplanes’ almost turn the back end of the album into a punk rock opera, as do the heady atmospherics that link ‘San Francisco’ and extravagant last track ‘Outer Space – Carry On’.
The six-minute closer is the most interesting on the album and ends on a chorus of “You know it’s gonna get better” – typical of a great pop-rock album that’s all about pinning broken hearts together again.
This is the new broken scene. It sounds great, and it feels even better.
FOR FANS OF: Green Day, All Time Low, The All-American Rejects
Remember, 5SOS are on the cover of our new magazine!