Yep, 5 Seconds of Summer is moving along

On their new album, the Australian band makes impressive songwriting strides with sonic storytelling and drum fills

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With their crunchy guitars, gang vocals, skinny jeans, and just-naughty-enough lyrics, 5 Seconds of Summer (or 5SOS for short) peaked at #24 on the Hot 100 charts back in 2014 with their breakout single, “She Looks So Perfect.” The four Australian teens had gained mainstream attention after establishing an internet presence with YouTube covers and then being invited to open for One Direction on their international Take Me Home tour in 2013. However, while amassing an army of teen pop fans, the band also garnered attention within the alternative scene.  Continue reading “Yep, 5 Seconds of Summer is moving along”

Waterparks’ Double Dare

Perfect poppy pop-punk that is self-aware of the genre and reinvigorates it

Double Dare, Equal Vision Records (c) 2016

Pop-punk: it’s a bit of a contradiction in and of itself. Pop music is made for the masses, while punk music rejects the mainstream and conformity, yet the genre of pop-punk exists and has indeed developed over time. The most recent wave of mainstream pop-punk occurred in the early- to mid-2000s with bands like Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Paramore, All Time Low, and even blink-182 and Green Day. Some of these bands were also influenced by emo, and their popularity helped to define this new kind of pop-punk. However, it was ultimately a trend that oversaturated the market and died out by the late-2000s. The pop-punk community never ceased to exist, and there are still plenty of exciting bands, but everybody is still waiting for (or trying to be) the group to bring the genre back into the spotlight, and Waterparks could very well be that group.Their debut from Equal Vision Records, Double Dare, is one of my three favorite albums of 2016; its diversity makes it accessible to a wide audience, and the band’s clever wordplay is always entertaining, often disarming, and actually definitive of the idea of “punk.” Continue reading “Waterparks’ Double Dare”