48°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Why everyone needs to jump on the 5SOS bandwagon despite teen fans

5+Seconds+of+Summer+is+worth+the+listen
5 Seconds of Summer is worth the listen

I like 5 Seconds of Summer. No, I’m not being sarcastic and no, I haven’t been huffing paint thinner. I genuinely enjoy listening to their music. I find it fun and fresh, mainly because it’s played on actual instruments, with people singing without the aid of computers. The four-piece band is playing pop-punk in the style of some of my favorite bands from when I was a kid, so it’s a blast from the past for me whenever I hear “She Looks so Perfect” on the radio. 
Unfortunately, however, it’s impossible to declare your fandom for a musical act these days and not get ridiculed for it. If you listen to music that you shouldn’t be listening to in the eyes of society, you’ll get flack. I have a pretty eclectic taste. When I tell people I like Vampire Weekend I immediately get the hipster tag. When I say I like Meghan Trainor friends say, “Why do you listen to that top 40 crap?” It seems that as a 22-year old caucasian male, I open myself up to ridicule if I mention any other band besides Bon Iver or the Lumineers. The point of this article (other than talking about how badass 5 Seconds of Summer is) is to examine just why people tend to lash out against certain types of music more than others.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with 5 Seconds of Summer, they are a four piece band from Australia who had a great 2014. Their self-titled debut album reached number one in 11 countries and their singles get heavy play on American pop radio. That’s impressive, considering their pop-punk style hasn’t been popular stateside in a decade and that they are carrying on the legacy of some great bands like Blink-182, Sum 41, Green Day, and Simple Plan. I love that style of music, especially considering zero artists record music about actually being in high school anymore, and that’s one of my favorite lyrical subjects. 
However, the mainstream success has brought some new audiences to 5SOS, namely the “top 40” or “Teen Nick” crowd. I’m talking about teenage girls, who have really taken a liking to these hair-dyed guys. Teenage girls — one of the noisiest and most influential subsets of the human race — can be thought of as hipster repellent. If they like a band, no matter how good they are, most 20-something guys will hesitate to admit they like them. If Led Zeppelin became a big fad in middle schools, guys would throw their Jimmy Page posters in the trash. 
Here lies the issue. Do the people who say they hate 5 Seconds of Summer actually hate them, or do they hate their audience? I’d bet it’s their audience. After all, these guys comprise possibly the least-hatable band of all time. They’re reviving the music we grew up with and bringing it back into the mainstream, and none of them have dated Taylor Swift, and they just seem like genuinely good dudes. The music isn’t auto tuned, and they don’t lip-sync. What more could you want from a mainstream act right now? I hate to say it, but John Lennon’s not coming back. The only reason a lot of people don’t like 5SOS is because of who does like 5SOS: the tween demographic. If you’re going to frame your whole life around what other people don’t like, it’ll be tough going. 
5SOS’s demographic may not always be the best judges of musical talent (Ke$ha, Pitbull, Iggy Azalea for god’s sake) but every once in a while, they get one right. This is one of those occasions, and it’s not worth telling yourself a good band’s bad, especially in an era where there isn’t a lot of good music making it on the radio. 
So my message to 5SOS: keep doing what you’re doing, your last album was sick, and soon enough my demographic will wise-up and admit that you’re good. To my demographic: there just aren’t enough good bands getting on the radio to kick one to the side just because they’ve been sold as a “teen act.”
And don’t get me started on My Chemical Romance…