Australian pop-rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer’s third studio album, Youngblood, is full of great hooks and their most consistent songwriting to date.
The title track is indicative of much of the album, balancing harmonised guitar-picking with a stomping electro beat, while frontman Luke Hemmings delivers his lines in alternative R’n’B style.
Lie To Me and Talk Fast have a distinct Gotye vibe, particularly in the guitar runs, providing the retro power-pop backing for Hemming’s simple-but-poetic lines, “I wish we never met, because you’re too hard to forget.” More and Valentine show the four-piece at their grungiest, akin to Arctic Monkeys’ AM era.
Hemmings’ vocals are at their most moving in Better Man and Woke Up In Japan, but his failed relationship theme starts to feel stale towards the end, as do the album’s last three songs.
In spite of these hiccups, there are enough singalong moments and sparks of genius to prove 5SOS are more than a flash-in-the-pan boyband; Youngblood is sure to be the soundtrack to many people’s summer.