The song opens with a catchy guitar riff, punctuated by an ever-present and driving percussion phrase that serves to highlight drummer Ashton Irwin’s remarkable ability to add fluidity and cohesion, whilst also pushing the track forward. Soon after, singer and guitarist Michael Clifford beings to lament the “overrated” nature of such tedious things as a “9-to-5” work schedule before lead vocalist, and other guitarist, Luke Hemmings powers through the song’s authority-taunting chorus. Bass player Calum Hood takes over for the second verse, which serves to teasingly claim pride over being an “underachiever.” Finally, the song concludes with a punchy bridge phrase about being “the voice of the new generation” that Clifford delivers with Billie-Joe Armstrong style gusto before the phrase is repeated in an anthemic gang-vocal fashion.
Overall, “Permanent Vacation” is 5SOS’ take on the pop-punk genre’s fascination with the anti-authority anthem. While it may seem that nearly every pop-punk band out there has done some version of the same, from Green Day’s “American Idiot” to Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem” and All Time Low’s “The Reckless and the Brave,” 5SOS manages to cover old territory in a new way. Ripe with lyrics that seem to taunt all those who disapprove of an unconventional and “out of line,” career in favor of a more typical “9-to-5,” the whole idea of a “permanent vacation” as an answer to the “frustration, desperation..[and lack of] motivation,” that permeates typical adult life is one that resonates well with nearly everyone. Yet, more than anything, the song plays as an homage to the time-tested anthems of pop-punk’s greatest in a way that only a track written by legitimate fans of the genre could achieve.
Tickets for the North American leg of the ‘Rock Out With Your Socks Out’ Tour can be found here and be sure to check 5SOS out here.