Sound — 10
The sound of Sum 41 is the sound of a pop-punk band growing up. In their last album, All Killer No Filler (which is also brilliant) they were a samey, but enjoyable pop-punk band. They now have started to make themselves a unique sound, which comes from Deryks voice, Steves drums and Cones bass mainly. I also think that Sum 41's guitarists have always broken the mould in pop-punk, not just using simple power-chord progressions, and although not going into any complex full chords, they do have more difficult riffs and solos than for example, Green Day.
Lyrics — 8
Deryk is a very good punk singer, which suits their music perfectly. There are a few lyrically great songs on here, but there are of course also a couple of depressing, meaningless songs (not musically meaningless, just lyrically) like Still Waiting and Thanks For Nothing.
Overall Impression — 10
01. The Hell Song - very catchy, and it instantly lets you know that theyv matured, there wasnt one song this dark on either All Killer No Filler or Half Hour Of Power. Great solo, and the final chorus really is brilliance. The chorus lyrics also sound really good with the music 10/10. 02. Over My Head (Better Off Dead) - another catchy song, and that makes you realise something good. Sum 41 have matured, but kept the pop-punk hooks that made them so good in the first place. At least they didnt become a boring 6 minute songs "art" band. Phew. This songs slow breakdown is really good and the whole thing flows perfectly 10/10. 03. My Direction - the poppiest song on here probably, which wouldnt sound at all out of place on AKNF. This is two minutes of release from any problems you may have at the time. Even a really cheery song like Spitting Games by Snow Patrol cant cheer you up like this does. And for that, this song is truly amazing 10/10. 04. Still Waiting - shame that they had to put a really depressing song (lyrically and musically) after a really happy moment. "Drop Dead, A Bullet To My Head!", oh thanks, I really appreciated that, I was happy for a moment. But if you listen to this randomly without listening to My Direction first, it is a very good song! Well put together, with a breakdown that really builds up to the chorus. 05. A.N.I.C - this would go well on Half Hour Of Power. Its good that the band had the courage to put this on, because it's different from the rest of it, sounds like those punk bands that never really get anywhere because really their music is just bash-drums-till-they-break, chuck-together-some-power-chords, scream-a-bit. But this is still alright 7/10. 06. No Brains - this is where Sum 41 looked to Chucks punk-metal approach. The breakdown uses some fast picking, the solo drumming is thrashy and Deryk comes close to screaming at points. Very good song, amazing well put together 10/10. 07. All Messed Up - they went and ruined it didn't they! Gawd, follow up a mature metal-ish song with a return to the pop-punk again. It may sound like I'm really bashing this song, and I suppose I am a bit, but this is good for what it is, a good old pop-punk anthem 9/10. 08. Mr Amsterdam - good-ish, forgettable, similar 7/10. 09. Thanks For Nothing - the guitar comes in, I prepare to sing along, I sing "So Am I, Still Waiting?" it sounds that much like it. The verse has some Steve rapping, which is always good. The chorus isnt at all like Still Waiting though. Good song 9/10. 10. Hyper-Insomnia-Para-Condroid - catchy guitar parts at the beginning, and the verse would actually sound amazing with that in the background, but it doesnt have it. Ah well. Kind of a dragging song, but it has an appeal to it 8/10. 11. Billy Spleen - the previous song flows right into this, and thats something which cant be said for the intro of the guitar riff. The chorus has a real sing-along anthem mood to it, but the verse isnt very good really. But the chorus makes up for that 9/10. 12. Hooch - this is a really catchy romp, with a great chorus, swinging verse and a pretty good solo too. I think its great that Sum 41 have put solos in their songs, it really breaks the mould for most bands like them. Fades out with a couple of deep lyrics 10/10. 13. Reign In Pain - I never liked these songs, with Steve singing. Whether this is a parody or whatever, it is irritating, and pretty bad generally. Pretty nice solo, but thats the only good point. 5/10 14. World War VII - sounds like its gonna be a masterpiece when that guitar comes in, but that soon evaporates when you hear (sigh) Steve come in to sing again. I was hoping this was going to be an almost-prog epic, but when that bomb effect comes in, it turns rubbish. Although a lot better than Reign In Pain, Steves voice pisses me off, he only sounds good when he raps. Its infectious, and its not nearly as irritating as Reign In Pain, but I ask you Sum 41, why put on two songs with Steve sounding like a twat 8/10. Overall, this album is very very good, a huge progression from All Killer No Filler. I need to buy Chuck soon.