October 28, 2015 5 Seconds of Summer – Sounds Good Feels Good (Album Review)
5 Seconds of Summer, known affectionately to their fan base as 5SOS, started as a group of friends from Sydney, Australia, messing about on YouTube covering popular Pop, and Pop/Punk songs. Their fans soon grew in numbers when a rather famous boy band by the name of One Direction found their videos, saw their talent and booked them as the opener for two of their past tours in 2013 and 2014. Luke Hemmings (singer, guitarist), Calum Hood (singer, bassist), Michael Clifford (singer, guitarist), and Ashton Irwin (singer, drummer) have released several EP’s, and now two full studio albums. Their newest album, Sounds Good Feels Good, was released October 23rd, and has already made a huge impact with two chart topping hits, breaking away from the stereotypes that seemed to haunt them in the past. They have brought back to life a scene that was thought to be dead with their own flavor to Pop/Punk.
The main theme of this album is succeeding when everyone says you cannot, and that everyone goes through struggles and they may not be able to see the light just yet, but it will happen and they can overcome. “Money” gets listeners head bopping within the first thirty seconds. It’s fast drumbeat and melodic chord progressions gets one pumped for what’s going to happen for the rest of the album. Next up is their first single off the album, “She’s Kinda Hot.” At first, one doubts the potential of this song. With the starting lyrics that have a connotation of, “She can be a total bitch and make me feel like crap, but she’s hot so I might as well stick around,” but the rest of the song that follows actually brings around a totally different concept of loving oneself and telling those who do not think someone else’s greatness can be accomplished to eff off. It is powerful and the perfect mix of all the young men’s vocals. Following right after is their second single off the album, “Hey Everybody,” which plays into the large theme of, although times are tough, things will get better.
“Permanent Vacation,” sounds like they took a page out of the Green Day book with a mix of Blink-182. It has the jump up and throw things around vibe with its quick strums of a chord and basic pounding like nature of the drum. “Jet Black Heart,” is the first slow song of the album. In interviews, they have stated how they want to bring to light some of the mental issues they have been through as well as their fans. It has an anthem feel to it as they sing about how bad things can get and hoping for the strength to get better. “Catch Fire” takes an interesting turn as it gets started with a keyboard and maintains a slower tempo. It has a different tone from the usual 5 Seconds of Summer songs heard in previous EP’s and album. It lends its sound from a more Latin beat, which is definitely new for them.
“Saftey Pin” brings yet another a new sound to them by using higher chords, adding some sound samples and even a piano. “Waste the Night,” reminds one of 1975 a bit with the large use of the symbols and also mixes in the sound of the band Nickelback. “Vapor” uses way more electronic sound than the other songs previously in the album, but it works in their favor. “Castaway,” has a strong agressive sound behind it with a lower tonal range. “The Girl Who Cried Wolf” brings an acoustic ballad sound which progresses into a traditional Rock ballad.
While their other songs do deal with the darkness that they hope to move past, “Broken Home” takes on a dark tone, but in a different way. It is probably one of the most powerful songs on the album with lyrics and music. “Fly Away” brings back the fast tempo with a sound similar to Sum41, but then “Invisible,” slips back into the slower tempo. Following next is “Airplanes,” which mixes both tempos and uses Clifford’s voice as the lead. “San Francisco” also starts with an acoustic guitar and then grows with violins and a faster acoustic beat. The album ends with “Outer Space/Carry On,” which are two separate songs that merge together well for the finale. Over six minutes long, the song is dedicated to the outcasts, depressed and ‘New Broken Scene.’
These guys took the best bits of all the Pop/Punk bands that used to be on top of the world and mixed them to make this album their own. 5 Seconds of Summer has a solid album with their passion for their music, solid lyrics and their ability to change their sound to make track after track of catchy Pop/Punk beats. The whole album sounds like an anthem to youth and listeners will be joining ‘The New Broken Scene’ once finishing this album. CrypticRock gives Sounds Good Feels Good 4.5 out of 5 stars.