5 Seconds Of Summer leading a new Aussie music revolution
Armed with an energetic, punchy sound and a knack for crafting infectious, soaring tunes, the four fresh-faced teenagers of pop punk band 5 Seconds Of Summer are on the cusp of superstardom.
On Monday, they snagged Best Lyric Video for their track, Don't Stop, at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The youngsters - guitarist-vocalists Luke Hemmings, 17, and Michael Clifford, 18, bassist-vocalist Calum Hood, 18, and drummer-vocalist Ashton Irwin, 19 - are part of a new wave of success from Down Under.
Together with blonde sexy rap sensation Iggy Azalea and reclusive singer-songwriter Sia Furler, they find themselves leading a new Australian charge on modern popdom.
The statistics say it all.
5 Seconds Of Summer's eponymous album hit No. 1 on the US Billboard chart, moving 259,000 copies in a week.
That made it the third-largest debut of this year and the biggest debut for a group in nearly eight years.
Their strategy is a variation on the KISS formula: Keep It Short and Sweet. Most of the Sydney lads' melodic hits like She Looks So Perfect, Heartbreak Girl, and Try Hard average around three minutes - perfect for the short attention span of listeners these days.
The quartet made history by becoming the first Australian act to come out tops with its first full-length album.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Hood admitted that he and his mates were feeling the weight of fame and success, albeit in a positive way.
"You always feel pressure," he said.
"The boys and I have high expectations of what we want to achieve, but we're just having fun at the moment and taking it day by day."
Irwin told online publication Alter The Press: "We just want to be the biggest and the best band that we can be, and see how far we can take it."
DON'T CALL THEM A BOY BAND
There's one problem, though.
Earlier this month, Irwin told Billboard magazine that they are constantly ducking a very unwelcome label.
"Some people think, 'Oh, they're just another boy band. They'll have a thing and then disappear'," he said.
"But we're challenging that thought. We're so proud of the music we make and we're fearless. If anyone puts us down, we don't care."
So fearless of criticism are they that they are supporting uber boy band One Direction on tour.
Like fellow Aussies Furler and Azalea, 5 Seconds' achievements mean a lot back home.
They are the first Australian group since AC/DC (in 2008) to crash in at No. 1.
They are also the second Australian act to top the US charts this year - 38-year-old Furler being first with 1000 Forms Of Fear.
A common thread among these acts is how they work with other artistes.
Furler pens tunes for A-listers like Rihanna and Beyonce, while Azalea hooked up with rapper T.I., Charli XCX and Rita Ora.
As for 5 Seconds, they collaborated with Alex Gaskarth (frontman of US band All Time Low) and the Madden Brothers (from Good Charlotte) for their album.
Even their One Direction experience is treated with enthusiasm.
"It's a massive experience to learn how to control a stadium. You look up to people like Billie Joe (Armstrong) from Green Day or Dave Grohl and how they command a stadium(yet) put on an intimate show in such a huge place," Irwin told Billboard.com.
"That's what we're learning."
Among the three acts, 24-year old Azalea is the least-loved by her fellow Australians, because of her, erm, "American" accent.
But that may not affect her too much. Her hit Fancy set a new record for the longest-running No. 1 song by a female rapper on the Billboard singles chart.
The undeniable fact is that these acts have ended the drought of Australian pop hits in the US.
All hail the new wizards of Oz.
Bubbling Down Under
Here are three Australian acts you should check out, before fame comes knocking on their doors...
The 26-year-old curly-haired singer-songwriter from Melbourne inked a five-record deal with Atlantic Records on the strength of his independently-released EP God Loves You When You're Dancing.
His folksy single, Riptide, is a looming US hit, gaining momentum on radio and iTunes. His debut album, Dream Your Life Away, will be released next month.
The Sydney alternative rockers played at the Laneway Festival here in January and are best known for their brand of disco-tinged pop. Their latest album, The Brink, sees them stretching their soaring stadium-sized sound even further.
Melbourne electronic musician Chet Faker, 26, is winning hearts with his unique style of music - a genre that is best described as somewhere between downtempo ambient and house.
Earlier this year, Faker's debut album, Built On Glass, debuted at No. 1 on the Australian Aria Charts.