Review: Jack Foley
FORMER skate-punk upstarts, Sum 41, continue their drift towards
more mature, heavier material with the release of their latest
long-player, Chuck - a hit-and-miss affair that contains
fleeting moments of brilliance.
The most instantly striking thing about the album is the fact
that the infectious energy of hits such as Fat Lip and
In Too Deep is missing, replaced instead by a grittier
and more angry direction, as exemplified by the recent single,
We're All To Blame.
Rather like many of the songs on their last album, Does This
Look Infected?, the track is packed full of lyrics such as
'how can we still succeed taking what we don't need/ telling lies
as alibis, selling the hate that we breed super-size/ our tragedies
(you can't define me or justify greed) brought in the land of
And, as such, Chuck provokes comparisons with the likes
of Green Day's American
Idiot long-player, as well as more obvious sources of inspiration,
such as the nu-metal of Linkin Park, the heavy metal of Metallica,
and the punk revival that seems to be sweeping all before it at
Yet, as grown-up as some of the sentiments are, there remains
the sneaking suspicion that this is a band that is at its happiest
thrashing about the place, as the power guitars do tend to swamp
And therein lies its achilles heel. Chuck is undoubtedly
their heaviest effort to date, yet it contains some melodic moments
Some tracks, such as We're All To Blame and Angels
With Dirty Faces, attempt to balance the two, and end up
But in the Oasis-inspired anthem, Some Say, which contains
an uncanny vocal resemblance to Liam Gallagher at certain points,
the band seems to have properly matured.
It is during such moments that the album prompts favourable comparisons
with the new Green Day effort, especially tracks such as Wake
Me Up When September Ends - albeit mixing the acoustic breakdowns
with the electric guitars more aggressively.
Likewise, Slipping Away, an angst-ridden, acoustic ballad
of quietly affecting raw power, which had me yearning for more
of the same.
Had there been more of this sort of diversity to break up the
metal anthems, then Chuck might be a little more accessible.
As it stands, the album serves as an infuriating blend of power
and pain that, while marking a progression of sorts, still hasn't
come far enough.
It remains to be seen which of the two musical paths Sum 41 will
eventually choose to take.
2. No Reason
3. We're All To Blame
4. Angels With Dirty faces
5. Some Say
6. The Bitter End
7. Open Your Eyes
8. Slipping Away
9. I'm Not The One
10. Welcome To Hell
12. There's No Solution
14. Secret Enhanced Section
15. The Making of "We're All To Blame" Video (Uk Exclusive)