by Danielle Holian

‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’ is the second album from 5 Seconds of Summer. This album showcases the quartet’s conflict with their “boy band vs rock band” image from their debut self-titled album. There’s an edge on this record with a sense of mature content throughout the album, without alienating the love of the band’s teen fans.

5SOS have somehow rewritten pop-punk into today’s boy-band image. Although the four musicians are against being called a boy band, they’re a boy-band just with the crossed over a border that they mostly write their own material along with playing instruments. Their brand of guitar-heavy nonchalant is interchangeable with Green Day with their post-pop-punk styles.

This album is undeniably infectious with a guitar tuning and studio chatter intro, along with great lyrics in relation to solidarity and generational themes whilst they tackle issues like anxiety and depression; there’s something for everyone. Their emotional track, ‘Jet Black Heart’, sends the deepest message with lyrics like, ‘Everyone’s got their demons, even wide awake or dreaming’, it’s darker than anything else on ‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’.

The track ‘She’s Kinda Hot’, the song echoes laziness and lust whereas ‘Permanent Vacation’ is an alarm that an unspecific generational takeover is about to happen. These guys are fearless. They take chances and it all pays off in the end. There’s a little comfort in each song, but with ‘Sounds Good, Feels Good’, there’s more experimentation compared to their first album. They pushed boundaries, and it’s fun. However, their breakthrough single ‘She Looks So Perfect’ is their most pop-punk fun singalong song to date.

As their music is clearly for younger generations, Michael Clifford (singer-guitarist), wants the band to contribute to valuable songwriting to reach the urgency in the crisis on mental-health struggles. “Outer Space/Carry On” has touching lyrics in relation to this, “Moving on, survive the innocence / Won’t be long, won’t be long, won’t be long / You know it’s gonna get better,” they assure their listeners that one day it will be okay. The last few songs on the album have a high energy with backing music from London Symphony Orchestra from time to time which makes an interesting contrast of sounds.

5SOS seem to feel comfortable in their sound, it feels right for them. The quartet is great at what they do and it might propose that there was never a space between the pop-punk and boy-band scenes.