herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Review

3ARENA

'ROCK Out with Your Socks Out.' That's the name of the 5 Seconds of Summer tour, you know. How many kids will understand the reference?

A few, perhaps. Allow us to break down the 5SOS story in, um, five seconds. Aussie pop-punk wannabes meet at school, post some videos on YouTube, attract major labels, make friends with One Direction, join them on tour and things… go… boom.

Yep, they're your teenage daughter's new favourite group, and they are definitely not a boy band. Nope.

Not with real instruments, AC/DC T-shirts and a Green Day cover in their set. They just look pretty, wear matching drainpipe jeans, sing songs about girls and say all the right things to make us squeal.

"What's the craic, Dublin? I wish I had an Irish accent," declares lead guitarist Michael Clifford (see, told ya). FYI, Clifford is the joker, bassist Calum Hood is the cute one, lead vocalist Luke Hemmings is the handsome one and drummer Ashton Irwin is the surfer dude.

This is playground rock 'n' roll; hormonally charged pop tunes, coated in heavy spells of distortion and feedback. It'd be easy to write them off if the lads weren't so damn likeable. They've got everything covered, with big epic screens, big hooks in all the right places, and big, polished smiles. Nice haircuts, too.

Ambitious bedroom-rockers turned global superstars, 5SOS lose points for starting Guinness and shamrock chants, but their glossy, infectious repertoire (She Looks So Perfect, Don't Stop, Good Girls) is damn-near impossible to resist. Irwin tells us this is the first country they charted in. "Who here illegally downloaded our music?" asks Clifford. Everyone shrieks. Work that one out.

The whole teenage-boys-play-rock-gods shtick is a bit cringeworthy, we know, but hey, 90 minutes with 5 Seconds isn't as bad as you'd suspect.

Blurring the lines between Blink-182 and Busted, the message is clear - the kids dig boy bands (sorry) with guitars again. 5SOS are the best of a ridiculous lot. HHHII

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