The veteran rap-rock unit's fifth studio long-player and the follow-up to 2015's Day of the Dead, the aptly named Five delivers an eclectic sonic slap that draws from a wide array of influences. Like its predecessor, the 14-track set can go from gritty to velvety at the drop of a needle, with hood-centric (as in Los Angeles) party anthems like "Riot" and "California Dreaming" (definitely not a Mamas & the Papas cover) simmering alongside languid reggae-folk jams ("Ghost Beach") and brooding, "Lose Yourself"-era Eminem-inspired beatdowns. That penchant for experimentation, as well as a flair for pop craftsmanship, is what sets Hollywood Undead apart from some of their contemporaries -- for every seedy barrel roll into nu-metal malevolence -- "Renegade" is a bona fide street peeler -- there's a slick blast of buttery radio fodder like "Nobody's Watching." Most of the time, the two camps find a way to coexist, with fiery rhymes yielding big, anthemic (clean) metalcore choruses -- the ragged and self-loathing "Broken Record" takes a different approach, pairing incrementally desperate verses with a refrain straight out of the Twenty One Pilots manual. Five is an oddly seductive album, especially considering the merits of the oft-maligned and frequently stagnant genre from which it was conjured. Vocalist/guitarist Charlie Scene, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Danny, vocalist Funny Man, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist J-Dog, and vocalist/bassist Johnny 3 Tears may be rolling down some familiar streets, but they're doing it with style and a not insignificant amount of substance.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger