"Five" By Hollywood Undead
Released Oct, 27, 2017
Genre: Rap Rock/Hip Hop
When I first heard "California Dreaming" from Hollywood Undead's then upcoming record Five I was excited. The song was one of the band's most aggressive and rock leaning tracks with its driving, metal styled guitar and the vocals being more punk than hip hop. All while still having a big arena rock chorus to tie it all together. I was expecting an album that doubled down on the rock compared to the further embrace of hip hop the band has been contenting themselves with. Instead not only is this record even more hip hop leaning than they usually do. It's also their most chilled and reserved.
As the album's title suggests this is HU's fifth record and they've been at this for twelve years now. And as is the case with many musicians who are aggressive in their youth, HU have grown and are men well into their 30's now. Singer Danny Murillo takes the lead on more of the songs with a more R&B styled spin on tracks like "Ghost Beach" and "Nobody's Watching". The lyrics are much more introspective and serious than most of the band's work and deal with topics like nostalgia and perseverance. Despite this more mellow approach "Renegade", "Pray-Put Em In The Dirt", and "Bang Bang" still have the angry, guitar-infused fire the band is known for.
All in all Five is proof positive the band wants to go beyond just bringing the party or explore violent imagery. However the band is relying more on melody and even flirtation with R&B to do it which may alienate some of their fans. Regardless the album is a solid effort while not their best. Like many bands bringing new elements to their sound there are growing pains to be had. And it may take a little longer for Hollywood Undead to polish it to a mirror shine.