Release Date: Mar 29, 2011
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk/New Wave, Punk Revival, Punk-Pop
You probably haven't paid much attention to Sum 41 since their 2001 bubblegum punk hit "Fat Lip." Keep doing that. On subsequent discs, frontman Deryck Whibley has aspired to depth outside his skill set. 2004's Chuck was inspired by war in the Congo; the band's newest seems touched by a lesser holocaust, Whibley's 2010 divorce from Avril Lavigne. "Take the pictures off the wall/Erase the thoughts, forget them all," he sings.
Whibley's warriors return to the fray... It’s weird to think of Sum 41 as a veteran band but hell, it’s almost exactly a decade since ‘All Killer, No Filler’ and Whibley’s warriors are still doing their thing. And while the Canadian four-piece may want to be seen as a grown-up rock ‘n’ roll band – as evidenced by the retro-styled, slightly underwhelming likes of ‘Baby You Don’t Want To Know’ and ‘Reason To Believe’ – they’re still at their best when unleashing some metallic pop-punk fury, as on the title track and ‘Skumfuk’.
Divorcees Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley have conspired to flood the market with their angsty pop punk this month, releasing new albums within weeks of each other. It wouldn't be a stretch to infer that Lavigne's farewell-to-love songs are about Whibley and that the heartachey rock tunes on Screaming Bloody Murder are directed at Lavigne. Sadly, this isn't as juicy as it sounds.
Review Summary: So who did Sum 41 steal from to make their new album this time?A slightly abbreviated band biography on Sum 41 could very well read like this: Approximately ten or so years ago, Sum 41 came up with a vocal melody that banked itself on obvious rhymes concluding each lyrical line of their songs - along with guitar riffs. With this vocal melody, the band fought and suffocated itself through approximately four and a half albums of pop punk in the Green Day-blink-182 vein.Hmm, harsh. Yet true – Sum 41, while changing how they portrayed their sound, via pop, via pseudo-metal, have always been Sum 41, always have had that signature vocal melody running through the majority of their songs.
The words "Sum 41" and “maturity” might seem mutually exclusive, especially considering the rather rudimentary regression of 2007's all-too-forgettable Underclass Hero. However, the band’s fifth full-length, Screaming Bloody Murder, sees the the Sums entering into adulthood—unfortunately, that process also includes all of the inevitable missteps of adolescence. This is made obvious immediately from the opener “Reason To Believe,” an upbeat anthem that unexpectedly shifts into the kind of piano ballad that probably would've made frontman Deryck Whibley snicker only a few years ago.