As the only known living scholar of Aussie pop-punk boy band 5 Seconds of Summer—let me have this—the release of their first single in 800-something days is a holiday to me, to you, if you’re actually reading this, and to hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide (at least, those who haven’t lost patience with the quartet and took their stan cards to K-Pop). But like many family-oriented holidays (fandoms are family!), this is a goddamn disappointment, because the lads grew up, they’re different now...they’re a straight-up pop band. I “Want You Back,” old 5SOS. And I know that sucks. I suck!
On Thursday, February 22nd, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, and Luke Hemmings released their first single since the funky “Girls Talk Boys” in 2016 for the Ghostbusters remake, “Want You Back.” (Now you get it.) It’s the first song that gives us a taste of a new direction for the band, one we should’ve always known was going to happen—they grew up and out of the Warped Tour worship that defined them in childhood, and we should celebrate them for it.
I, however, just don’t really like the song? I’m sure tomorrow I’ll change my mind. I usually do. New sounds are often shocking (and I like change!) but I always hoped 5 Seconds of Summer would revolutionize the pop-punk/boy band space, making it a more accessible and celebratory place for the young female fans that occupy it, but who is to say they still can’t? And who is to say they have to? They’re a band; they’re not crusaders. I digress.
Listen to “Want You Back” above. Are you ready for the new 5SOS? Should I project my teen dreams elsewhere?