By Molly Guillermo and Jasmine Ward
“Slow Down” is the kind of track you’d hear on the radio and think, is this Portugal The Man? Who are these guys? Lead singer Collin Steves’s muffled, high falsetto is reminiscent of bigger indie rock artists, some of which they’ve toured with or played with (Imagine Dragons, understandably, and The Black Eyed Peas, more confusingly.) The Washington DC based outfit includes Kevin Goldman, lead guitarist and rockstar in chief, Max Biskup, bassist who recorded with Austin Bello of Forever The Sickest Kids (emo turned indie kids rejoice!), and Ryan Steves, drummer.
After tiring out the Greeks at Virginia Tech, The 5:55 was invited to perform at different universities including Auburn University, University of Tennessee, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia. Soon they were booking gigs at The House of Blues, The National, PIANOS NYC, DC9, and Baltimore Soundstage. The band recently finished recording their single “Marquee” with the aforementioned Austin Bello, their first single since signing with Universal Music Group. “Marquee” is a pop rock jam that has earned the right to be blasted on your car’s stereo with the windows down—it’s the right mixture of feel good rock and high-pitched indie vocals to make everyone have a good time.
“Slow Down,” their newest release, is the surf rock influenced soon-to-be-hit that will make you dance, drink, and dream of summer. The guitar is so precise it’s hard to imagine their band was once a DIY-out-of-a-dorm-room project.
The pastel colored music video for “Marquee” is out now, and it pays tribute to their frat star origins with large Greek letters and fake-drunken antics. The girls fake-play guitars, hold the band members up for keg stands, and dump beer on the ground as they lip sync and pose. At one point the band has half-empty 40s clumsily duct taped to their hands (a tribute to the famed Edward 40-Hands college party theme), and even “slap the bag” (Franzia anyone?) The cutesy and incredibly staged parody of Greek life is silly and light-hearted enough to make college parties seem fun and memorable, and not bring any trashy recollections of puking in the bushes behind Sigma Nu to the surface.
Their biggest influences (musically, not collegially speaking) are The Foo Fighters, The Struts, Highly Suspect, Blink-182, and Maroon Five—and it shows. Their indulgences are “craft beer, loud music, and babes,” which is as believable as it is corny. But that’s the fun of it. Check out their music here.
Based in DC by way of San Francisco, Molly originally hails from southern California and has a background in English. She aims to explore music’s inextricable tie to pop culture and its evolving relationship with politics.