The trick in listening to 5 Seconds of Summer’s (5SOS) debut album, 5 Seconds of Summer, is resisting the urge to call them One Direction, especially since the Australian pop-punk band went on tour with the popular boy band.

It’s quite admirable for 5SOS members Ashton Irwin, Calum Hood, Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford to resist the money-eating boy band image. They are “a band of boys,” not a boy band, and, after listening to their album, I think that’s fair. The band actually dates back to 2011, and, in the past three years, they garnered a dedicated fan base until they finally released their debut album, 5 Seconds of Summer. Funny thing is, it’s hard not to see them as just another boy band. Their music is a hybrid of punk melodies and One Direction’s teenage-heartthrob lyrics, which, without a doubt, will attract a specific audience.

But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it; even 5SOS knows what’s up:

You can tell from the music alone that they’re from 2011. Their tracks almost sound dated and generic. Other bands, such as 1D, once sounded like 5SOS does now, but have since evolved into something different and more substantial. This isn’t to say the album is completely mediocre. “Everything I Didn’t Say” is probably my favorite track, with its alternative feel and honest lyrics that carry some emotional weight.

The truth is, I just wasn’t that impressed by the album as a whole. It’s not as innovative as the work produced by 5SOS’s contemporaries. The irony here is that 5 Seconds of Summer could have benefited more if 5SOS had watched how their contemporaries have adapted post-2011. I’m not suggesting they be exactly alike musically, but closer examination could have saved their debut album from sounding like the soundtrack for 2000’s teen movie.

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