Artist – Album: Sum 41 – All Killer, No Filler
Released: 8th May 2001
Sounds Like: Pop punk’s pitiful peak
In years to come music historians are unlikely to look favourably upon the pop punk trend of the early 00’s, which followed hot on the heels of the similarly lamentable nu-metal movement. Spearheaded by the likes of Blink-182 and Green Day, pop punk at its best produced great hook-laden, power chord driven slacker anthems but, more often than not, it sounded derivative, bland and whiney.
Sum 41’s All Killer, No Filler is perhaps the definitive album of the era. Where Green Day had the longevity and flexibility to find success both before and after the genre reached its peak and Blink-182 moved to a darker, more mature sound, Sum 41 seem forever identified by this second album and the smash hits ‘Fat Lip’ and ‘In Too Deep’. All the various ingredients of pop punk are here: nasal vocals, a competent blend of melodic power chords and driving rhythms, and childish lyrics about having to do, nobody liking you and just generally being a spotty teenage douche bag. ‘Nothing On My Back’ and ‘Rhythms’ are fast paced scrambles through the mind of an angst-ridden 15 year old, though they’re not without their charm, and ‘Handle This’ is the token slow-song, cut through with a surprisingly harmonious chorus.
Not everything here is exactly generic though. Disposable closer ‘Pain for Pleasure’ showcases the bands love of metal, and ‘Fat Lip’, most definitely the highlight of the set, takes up this template and blends it with rap and hip hop elements, in a manner much more enjoyable than the crappy moans of nu-metal. Still, everything here is still geared at loser teenagers, supported by phenomenal videos for MTV, and it’d be daft to pretend that it’s anything else. For what it is, it’s a good album. In the grand scheme of things, it ain’t.
Albumaday... rating: 5/10
1. Introduction to Destruction – 0:37
2. Nothing on My Back – 3:01
3. Never Wake Up – 0:49
4. Fat Lip – 2:58
5. Rhythms – 2:58
6. Motivation – 2:49
7. In Too Deep – 3:27
8. Summer – 2:49
9. Handle This – 3:37
10. Crazy Amanda Bunkface – 2:15
11. All She’s Got – 2:21
12. Heart Attack – 2:49
13. Pain for Pleasure – 1:42
Listen to ‘Handle This’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ3H3wvcXHs
Also released on the 8th May:
2006: Scott Walker – The Drift