Sum 41 - Screaming Bloody Murder

Album cover
Pop Punk
Island Records
Sum 41
Screaming Bloody Murder
Sum 41 - Screaming Bloody Murder Review rating:
2.5
User rating:
Average: 4.3 (26 votes)

Sum 41 was first introduced as four snot-nosed mall punks who raised semi-hell on MTV back in the heyday of TRL’s top 10 video countdown. They’ve come a long way (no longer “storming through” parties like their name was “El Nino”), and ten years after these Canadian alt-rockers invaded American TV screens, they’re back with a new album.

Screaming Bloody Murder is Sum 41’s fifth LP on Island Records, the long-awaited follow-up to 2007’s Underclass Hero. The album opens on down-tuned, chuggy, heavily distorted guitar chords, a tone that carries it through the first three songs. The title track’s machine-gun riff, guitar solo and “hey’s” lend more towards the band’s Does This Look Infected-era, words like “dark” and “heavy” come to mind. But the guitars on indie rock-tinged “Time For You To Go” are lighter, the melodies are catchier. “Jessica Kills” comes back in full force, but the band lets up again for an alt-rock ballad with “What Am I To Say”. “Crash”, “Sick Of It All” and “Happiness Machines” jumps right back into the groundwork that the band laid out in the beginning of the album, on a Green Day American Idiot-kick with the latter track beckoning Avenged Sevenfold in both shred and vocal qualities. “Over Now” is a piano-driven number and yet another drop in the Sum 41 speedometer. Don’t worry, the distortion picks up in the chorus, and the last three tracks do well to fill in the void.

The recording process for the LP began in 2009 and in the time it took to finalize the production process, the band experienced ups and downs: gaining new guitarist Tom Thacker, frontman Deryck Whibley’s high-profile divorce, and being forced to cancel dates on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour due to an injury Whibley suffered after a bar fight in Japan.

But all that must have seemed like nothing to a band that witnessed bouts of good and misfortune in its career (remember the video footage MTV aired of the band being caught in the middle of the Con-golese civil war?). As far as its music goes, Sum 41 went from the pop punk 2001’s All Killer, No FIller, to a heavier, alt-rockier approach on Does This Look Infected? and Chuck, then regressed to pop punk, with a more mature attitude on Underclass Hero. Screaming Bloody Murder is a mixture of both heavy attitude and pop punk aesthetics, but theses ideas aren’t fully integrated so they come off as inconsistent.

1. Reason To Believe
2. Screaming Bloody Murder
3. All Comes To An End
4. Time For You To Go
5. Jessica Kills
6. What Am I To Say
7. Crash
8. Sick Of It All
9. Happiness Machines
10. Over Now
11. Blood In My Eyes
12. Baby You Don't Wanna Know
13. Back Where I Belong
14. Exit Song

Sum 41 is a Canadian rock band from Ajax, Ontario, active since 1996. The current members are Deryck Whibley (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jason McCaslin (bass guitar, backing vocals), Steve Jocz (drums, backing vocals), and Tom Thacker (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboard).

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