5 Seconds of Summer’s “Teeth” Video Explores a Different Relationship Psyche 

After teasing new music for about three weeks, the Australian pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer released their latest single Teeth with a corresponding music video, directed by Thibaut Duverneix, on August 21. Teeth dropped about three months after their preceding single Easier and continues the group’s exploration of their newest sound: a synthy, industrial pop-rock mix. It’s the first song featured on the soundtrack for the third season of Thirteen Reasons Why.

With this song, the four members explored the mostly unseen side of a toxic relationship. 5SOS continues with their lyricism that’s usually unseen in their more popular singles (i.e. She Looks So Perfect and Girls Talk Boys). “Fight so dirty but you love so sweet / Talk so pretty but your heart got teeth / Late night devil put your hands on me / And never, never, never, ever let go,” serenades lead singer, Luke Hemmings,in the chorus.

The last word of each verse is accentuated by harmonies of high notes, and the representation of highs and lows in a relationship is shown in both lyrical and musical content. Teeth, as whole, is more bass heavy with jarring drumming and a majorly synth backdrop. In short, it’s a bop without lyrics, and the sound alone is addictive. The guitar and snare introduction is an ear worm, and it’s honestly been stuck in my head since it dropped.

The accompanying music video is an absolute metaphorical masterpiece. Opening in a room with all four boys, each is sitting in a dental chair with an accompanying “doctor.” They’re, then, individually “put under” through anesthesia, a pill, shock therapy, and virtual reality. The setting changes, and each band member is in seen in their own situation: Luke, lead vocals, is in a room that begins filling with smoke; Michael, lead guitarist, is faced with a ladder and no other apparent exit; Ashton, drummer, is stuck in an ever shifting plastic tube; and Calum, bassist, is chained to a cement block. Their unsettling companions from the original scene are present in the boys’ corresponding rooms.

The struggle begins as the pre-chorus first appears.

Luke is suffocating in an exit-less room, likely representing the inability to release tension in a toxic relationship, so it feels like he can’t breathe with that person around him.

Michael begins to climb the ladder with a point of light at the end, but he only makes so much progress. He is faced with the choice of attempting to continue to the exit which keeps moving farther away or fall back into the black void behind him, representing the immovability and indecision in a relationship that’s going nowhere.

Ashton attempts to move on and stable himself in the environment, but there’s nothing for him to hold on to, representing the instability and disarray of a relationship.

Calum tests the weight of the block, pushing and pulling it to see how much give it has, representing the inescapability and dependence with a person. Together, they represent the darkest sides of a relationship as none of them can reach or find their exit.

The individual members attempt to find their own escape by the end of the song.

Ashton stops struggling against his environment, finding a sense of stability as everything stills. It’s now possible to comprehend the situation and emotions felt from the relationship.

Michael begins moving up again, making progress, symbolizing moving on in his life.

Calum finds a bass in his room and begins smashing the cement block, setting himself free, perhaps to show the use of music to cope with injuries sustained in a toxic relationship.

Luke finds a brightly lit exit to escape from the suffocating parts of a relationship. During this, each of the creepy companions begins to “scream” intermittently, matching with the harmonies at the end of every verse in the chorus.

This part of the video was also accompanied by the song’s bridge. “Blood on my shirt, rose in my hand / You’re looking at me like you don’t know who I am / Blood on my shirt, heart in my hand / Still beating,” sang Luke. The boys have found a way out of their challenges, out of the toxic relationships in which they found themselves stuck.

After the escape, the video cuts back to “reality.” While they had been struggling in their hallucinations, they had also been struggling in real life. However, the escape has brought them all to a place of stillness, perhaps representing the death of the version of themselves, who they were while they were in a toxic relationship. They’ve become different, better people for enduring their struggle. This auditory and visual combination is only the beginning of the band’s newest era.