"A Millenial's Music Musings" by Amanda Huffaker
5 Seconds of Summer
Five Seconds of Summer. 5 Seconds of Summer. 5SOS. 5 Sauce. Whatever you call them, these four Australian natives have taken the music scene by storm. Surely you’ve heard their first single to top the American charts, a little number called “She Looks So Perfect”? Yeah, thought so. Catchy, right?
And at first glance these Aussies seem to bring to mind another group of young men with wildly adorable accents and amazing hair (really though, what kind of shampoo do they use?)...do I dare say…One Direction? And they should, since it was 1D’s Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson that “discovered” this smashing new group. However, unlike their British counterparts, the members of 5SOS prefer to be labeled as a “rock band” instead of the somewhat limiting title “boy band.” And rightly so, I think.
Even though all four 5SOS members are quite young, each member of the band plays an instrument, and the guys seems to strive for uniqueness and originality within the group as opposed to uniformity and synchronization, which sets them apart from many “boy bands” of the past.
Frontman, Luke Hemmings, who somewhat resembles his good friend Niall, is the youngest member of 5SOS at eighteen. However Luke isn’t too far behind; guitarist Michael Clifford as well as bassist Calum Hood are both eighteen as well. In fact, the only member of the group that is not eighteen is the twenty-year-old drummer, Ashton Irwin.
However, the guys don’t let their age stop them, but rather propel them. The fifth song on their album, 5 Seconds of Summer, titled “18” shows the band’s likeable self-deprecating side that even the toughest of their critics have to appreciate.
Struggling with the dilemma of crushing on an older girl, Calum confesses, “What else can I do/ I bought my fake I.D. for you.” In one of the many funny jabs at their young age comes the line, “She’s got a naughty tattoo/ in a place that I want to get to/ but my mom still drives me to school.” Bless their little hearts. Centered around the line, “I’m just waiting til I’m eighteen,” the guys tell of the woes of not being “old enough” to get the girl. Oh, the agony.
Coming in at number eleven on the album is “Mrs All American”. Oh, look girls, they’re singing about us. Except not. More like about our moms… “Mrs All American” is essentially 5SOS’s very own punk rock version of “Stacy’s Mom.”
A tell-tale sign that they aren’t gushing over the twenty-something girls? MRS All American, and you can bet that they enunciate the MRS part. Yeah, bummer. Not convinced? How about this line: “That minivan that you drive really gets me goin’.” And to end the scandalous tune, the charmingly arrogant line: “I’ll show you why you’re not gonna walk away.” Well then.
Anywhooo, my favorite song from this album is titled “Amnesia” and discusses the desire to simply wake up and forget about someone or something that has hurt you: “I wish that I could wake up with amnesia, and forget the little things.”
The guys of 5SOS get pretty serious for this one and only show their admittedly very cute grins for about half of the video. The other half is devoted to emphasizing the hurt behind the lyrics to this very relatable track. And don’t worry, girls. Ashton asks the question you always need answered yet are too afraid to ask: “If what we had was real, how could you be fine? ‘Cause I’m not fine at all.” Wow. But the guys don’t stop there.
Even more heart-wrenching than that is Luke’s account of the breakup, beginning with, “I remember the day you told me you were leaving/ I remember the makeup running down your face…” The emotion in this track is undeniably genuine, and even I was impressed with the amount of passion packed into this track by the rockstars-gone-sappy foursome. Touche, fellas.
All in all, this album, like its creators, has a lot of personality. The members of 5 Seconds of Summer are not afraid to make you relive some of your utmost embarrassing teenage years (even those that you prefer not to relive) throughout the verses of their tracks.
So consider yourself warned! If your teenage daughter starts waving this 5SOS album around in your face to play on your next road trip, you may find yourself reminiscing, shuddering, and smiling knowingly at many of the storylines in this album.