Sound — 7
Underclass Hero is the latest release from the (formerly foursome) now threesome Ajax Natives. After taking quite a liking to their last release "Chuck" I was really looking forward to this album. The band claims to have returned to their "Punk Rock Roots" and to be honest I can understand what they meant when they said this, however U.C.H. seems to have been made up of more reused material then your standard "Punk Rock" album. I know that the title track is a remake of the Chuck bonus track Subject to Change and that didn't bother me that much (Even though Subject to Change was a much more solid song). The problem with this album is that vocal melodies are repeated throughout several songs, for example "Walking Disaster" and "Dear Father" sound quite similar. Even the songs that don't resemble other tracks on this CD sometimes mimic singles from other bands. The chorus of "The Jester" is very reminiscent of "House of Wolves" by My Chemical Romance, "With Me" Sounds like "Only One" by Yellowcard and that's not all, infact the whole CD seems like it is a musical version of Frankenstein with bits and pieces taken from the recycling bin.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are very politically driven on this album and actually are probably the best aspect of Underclass Hero. While most songs stick to a social outcast kind of appeal there are some definitely well written songs about life in general and the classic love ballads. Deryek is a very talented singer and I am saddened to see that the melodies in this album aren't as original and creatively done as they could have been, because they overshadow the great lyrics he has written. One newer aspect of this album that I really take pleasure in is the inclusion of the piano to many more songs this time around; it really adds a lot more emotion and versatility to their sound.
Overall Impression — 8
I think this is one of Sum 41's worst albums, but that isn't saying it's bad, they just had some really good ones before it. Infact if you haven't really listened to the band much before this you might find a lot of enjoyment in this album however, to the true fans it will be tough to appreciate Underclass Hero more then their previous releases. The best songs on the albums would be Walking Disaster With Me and So Long Goodbye. However those choices were made after only a few listens of the album, more songs may grow on me after some time. I think Sum 41 is a very solid band and are defiantly one of my favorites, so I hope they explore their sound more on their next albums. This album in general isn't horrible; it just doesn't feel as fresh and exciting as their previous releases. This album is defiantly one in which you must listen to for yourself to make a true opinion of however to me I feel as if it just doesn't live up to my high expectations.