Sound — 8
Sum 41 has always been a favourite of mine. They have a punk rock/metal feel most of the time in their records. Something just really packs a punch when you listen to the '41. Like you just want to go crazy and swing your arm wildly in the air screaming the lyrics and pumping the strings on the air guitar. And it's really hit and miss for me. The first song, Underclass Hero, is a return to what you know Sum 41 is: a simple riff, heavy punk guitar and just plain-out madness. But the sound just goes up and down all over the record, from going to a rocker to a saddened teenager. Which doesn't help anybody really? a lot of songs to me seem to be a little generic. Which is disappointing because I wanted this new record to be something special after, what I think their first album they actually mixed it up, Chuck. Saying all that however, they really hit the nail on the head with some great acoustic songs like 'So Long Goodbye' and 'Dear Father', which have a lot of emotion and feeling.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics, as you're probably aware if your a Sum 41 fan, aren't overly difficult but they do mostly pack a punch. Deryck has maybe dropped back into his comfort zone a little bit but still knows when the big notes are called for and comes through. Lyrics like 'Time passes by, Direction unknown. You've left us now, we're not alone.' in So Long Goodbye to those in Underclass Hero 'We're doing fine, and we don't need to be told, that we're here doing fine, 'cause we won't give you control.' It's nothing groundbreaking but if you're a fan of Sum 41, then you're already aware of what to expect and you'll already know if you like how he strings his lyrics together.
Overall Impression — 8
It was always going to be hard for The Sum after losing one major factor to the band; Dave Baksh. He brings a lot of passion to the band I feel. And I think they do miss him, musically, which is a shame. Is this album as good as what they've done in the past? Hard to say, I think the songs do eventually hit, but after a few to many misses. I don't think you could listen to this album on CD start to finish; the song layout just doesn't work. It'll definitely be more at home on the iPod where you can choose to be pumped up or slowly wind down. Songs like 'March Of The Dogs', 'Underclass Hero' which will get the blood pumping are a definite plus for me. This album is somewhere between 'All Killer, No Filler' and 'Chuck' but definitely leans towards the former. So I think while not instant winner, I think that it'll still be quite at home in next to your other Sum 41 albums, even if it's not in the CD player as much.