Coming through with much of the same metal-infused punk riffs that have made Sum 41 such a successful crossover band, these selections from “Chuck” are really par for the course from these Canadians. Much more ballsy and full of sound than their nearest competitors in their fellow nationals Simple Plan, Sum 41 still make tracks that are acceptable for the soccer moms all through the world. The punk sound may be there, but the rebellion has been neutered into something that will be much mre acceptable than something like “Anarchy in the UK”. The tracks are mercifully short, again another difference from many of the so-called “punk” bands that have saturated Mtv and Fuse in the last few years. Where a band like Good Charlotte can typically have tracks that extend beyond four minutes, the average length for a Sum 41 track is right around three minute. The first single that was released off Chuck, “We’re All To Blame” is a metal/punk delight with a definite eighties feel to the synthesizer backdrop found on the track. The chiaroscuro found on this track, the heavy, metal-infused lyrics to the emotive crooning of the vocalist, is made all the more impressive with the amount of success they enjoy on this track.
Sum 41 has those moments in their already-sold tracks in which an individual just has to rewind and marvel at what they have committed to the disc. In the aforementioned “Blame”, the Slayer-esque riff laid down before and after the progressive pitch of the chorus is exactly one of these examples. The slower “Some Say”, delivered in a sing-songy style lacks some of the oomph that other tracks on this CD have. In fact, Sum 41 traverse into territory held by another pseudo-punky Canadian, this time Avril Lavigne. With introspective lyrics, this track is not a total flop, but still leaves people wanting some of the crunchy metal/punk mix of the previous tracks. “Welcome to Hell” brings back the intense tempo and virtuosity of previous tracks and an extended drum solo to die for. Sum 41 seem to be spinning their wheels during tracks like “Pieces”, which is for all intensive purposes the ballad of “Chuck”. This brand of mall-punk might draw some younger listeners, but for my money, the worth of “Chuck” comes in the brutal guitar riffs and metal influences of Sum 41.
Top Track: We’re All To Blame
Rating : 6.0/10
Sum 41 – Selections From Chuck / 2004 Island Records / 7 Tracks / www.islandrecords.com/sum41 / www.islandrecords.com / Reviewed 21 January 2005
Sum 41 Selections From Chuck CD Review
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