This album really disappointed me. On my first exposure, they looked pretty promising on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago. Indeed, it looks like they now have a hit album brewing in the wake of that performance.
"Looked" pretty promising was unfortunately what it was, though. They sound like nothing. Not "they sound like nothing else," but that they don't sound like anything. There's little or nothing distinctive about this group. They made a slick, emotionless hard rock pop album. The only emotional impact the album had on me was some hint of amusement that such a crass bit of impersonal manufactured corporate product would contain a song claiming, "It's indie rock and roll for me."
They don't even particularly sound like they're copying some identifiable influence. For some kind of comparison, they might be likened unto a bad Cure record, or maybe generic Creed. Folks, if your record sounds generic compared to Creed, you're getting pretty far down the food chain.
Being generous, you could claim that most of these songs have melodies. As my brother said on watching their SNL performance, I've heard worse. Compared to some ignorant trash metal or crappy hip hop, this stuff might look pretty tuneful.
But these compositions are mediocre at best. They have weak melodies. They have very minimal in the way of anything actually catchy going on here. None of these songs have memorable tunes. They all sound just exactly alike. Indeed, I couldn't pick out which ones they played on SNL. Might have been any of them. I defy you to sing back a line or two from any of these songs an hour after hearing the album.
I wanted to recommend one of the songs that almost sounded catchy as I was listening to it maybe just twenty minutes ago, just for something to sample if you think you're interested in this. However, looking back over the song titles I couldn't even pick out the title. Never mind.
I do note that some song called "Mr Brightside" seems to be a big current hit on Billboard's Modern Rock chart. I see that there is a song by that title listed in playlist window that I just listened to.