It’s fair to say that the term “Party band” doesn’t exactly seem like a high level of praise to give to a group of musicians, but despite what looks like a gimmick on paper – Hollywood Undead have made a career out of being a band whose sound will always get over strongest in a club at 2 AM. Platinum record sales and well over two hundred million streams on Spotify – you can often find room for critique in the quintet’s musical style, but their success can rarely be questioned.
‘Five’ is exactly what you would expect it to be; it’s a kitchen sink of influences, it’s creatively flexible and almost obnoxiously brash. There’s little here that should be expected to set the world alight in terms of performance, but what is here fits into the message that Hollywood Undead have already set for themselves so far in their eventful career.
Opening track ‘California Dreaming’ is one of the few nods to out and out rock music on the record, with a pillar shaking chorus that has been produced to be perfection and is irresistibly infectious. ‘We Own The Night’ follows this rock anthem aesthetic too and these are two examples on the record where Hollywood Undead have managed to fuse a whole lot of concepts together and still had the end result is out and out rock bangers.
For the most part Five is your blend of hip-hop transcending into clean choruses – and this does hit with lasting effect in some areas. The hook of songs like ‘Broken Record’ creates for an interesting change of atmosphere from the fiery rap that precedes it, and seeing how the quintet craft the bridges between verse and chorus always gets the senses tingling.
The album is at its most impactful though when Hollywood Undead play on their strengths of being a band capable of producing a song that sounds at its best with flickering club strobe lights surrounding it. ‘Renegade’ and ‘Cashed Out’ fit the bill here. The tracks’ dramatic techno vibe that falls into a chaotic chorus is bound to go down a treat live, and is certain to get their demographic off their feet.
Five doesn’t hold a song that will transcend throughout the masses such as ‘Everywhere I Go’ within its clutches, nor does it do anything that could be considered spectacular. But Five is a fun outing with moments of true endeavor and a robust flavour that makes it an enjoyable listen in parts, and an exhilarating one from time to time.