Australia's 5 Seconds of Summer come into their own on "Sounds Good Feels Good" (Hi or Hey / Capitol), mixing the emo bits of Blink-182, the pop-punk of Green Day and all sorts of contemporary rock for a well-crafted good time.
Though the 5SOS guys are still in their teens, aside from 21-year-old drummer Ashton Irwin, their point of view is fully formed, built from emo heroes sweating it out in tiny clubs and lessons learned from opening for One Direction in stadiums around the world.
One moment, singer-guitarist Luke Hemmings protests like a punk rocker. The next, guitarist-singer Michael Clifford bounces through the poppiest melody, like the Coldplay-ish "Catch Fire."
"Congratulations, your imitations are taking over the radio stations," they declare in "Permanent Vacation." "Corporations, calculations, we're the voice of a new generation."
And that may be the case. The orchestral treatment for "Broken Home" adds to the song's emotional heft, while on "Jet Black Heart," 5SOS takes the emo torch from the likes of Dashboard Confessional and puffs it up until it's arena ready. "Sounds Good Feels Good" is true to its title.
THE GRADE A-
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