For Fans Of
As cheesy as they are I always
liked Sum 41 for some reason. Their songs are catchy, their videos are
funny and they always put on a good live show. Over the last couple
of years however it seems the wheels have well and truly fallen off
for the Canucks that make up Sum 41. They’ve lost a founding member
and self appointed band leader Deryck Whibley seems more concerned about
red carpet appearances with Avril Lavigne than his band.
Part of Sum 41’s appeal was
their appreciation for all things “80’s metal” but with lead axe
man Dave “Brown Sound” Baksh jumping ship prior to the recording
of “Underclass Hero” the album is sadly devoid of any lead parts
or Maiden inspired riffing.
So where does that leave Sum 41?
Well, they’re still a pop punk band and yes, they still write catchy
songs but without their more aggressive guitar parts they sound like
40 other bands you could name.
The most instantly noticeable
thing about “Underclass Hero” is the striking resemblances it bears
to pop punk demigods Blink 182. Everything from the guitar tones, vocal
phrasing, drum fills and even the riffs themselves sounds way too similar
to Mark, Tom and Travis for me to take this record seriously. Putting
aside the dick and fart jokes, Blink were the leaders of their pack
for a reason so mimicking their sound to the extent that Sum 41 has
is not a great idea.
That being said, “Underclass
Hero” isn’t a bad record. The songs still kick in all the right
places and I’m sure there’s a million kids around the world who
already know all the lyrics and will happily shell out their (or their
parents) hard earned to go and see Sum 41.
The title track and album opener
is one of the best songs Sum 41 has released in the last few years.
The trade off vocals in the verse and bouncy chorus riff are great but
you can’t escape the feeling that you’ve heard it all before. “Walking
Disaster” starts off slowly but picks up the pace in time for the
chorus and was a good choice for a single. “March Of The Dogs” is
probably the highlight of the record with its powerful bass line and
steady beat. Apart from those 3 tracks, nothing else really grabbed
it to album number 5 because everything about this record makes me think
they’re a one man show these days. All the writing and production
credits are given to Deryck Whibley, and the cover art is… yep, you
guessed it, a picture of Deryck. Interesting to note that there isn’t
a photo of the other band members anywhere in the booklet.
I’m of the opinion that a band
may have reached it’s “use by date” if they’re drawing on the
same musical ideas they were a decade ago. Unfortunately for Sum 41,
it seems the well has run dry.
- Underclass Hero
- Walking Disaster
- Speak Of The Devil
- Dear Father
- Count Your Last Blessings
- Ma Poubelle
- Mach Of The Dogs
- The Jester
- With M