Review: Sum 41 – Order in Decline

Sum 41 - Order in Decline

On their seventh studio album, Order in Decline, Sum 41 wastes little time in describing the state of the world we are living in. And they do a great job of summarizing the feeling of growing up in a country where the leader seems to suck the life out of everything that we once held so dear. Sum 41 have delivered their late career masterpiece and they have never sounded better in this mixture of punk, metal, and rock that pulsates with immediacy and a strong call to action from their fan-base. The styles they have teased and tinkered with over their career come to full fruition on this record that finally realizes the band’s full potential.

Even from the first few riffs delivered on “Turning Away,” Sum 41 rock with a confident swagger found in scene mainstays such as Green Day, while still showcasing vulnerability and a human element behind their words. Deryck Whibley sings in the first powerful chorus, “I’m turning away/Because I feel like I can’t go on, while we’re living in this lie/And when all of my faith is gone, I don’t even want to try/There’s nothing that you could say, that could ever change my mind/And will all of these steps I take, it’s giving me back my life.” There’s a lot to unpack here, as we know Whibley nearly lost his battle to alcohol addiction and had a long road to recovery to fight for his life, much less his career as a touring musician in a successful band. Whibley sounds re-focused, refreshed, and doesn’t appear to want to let his new outlook on life go to waste any time soon.

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Review: Sum 41 – Underclass Hero

Sum 41 - Underclass Hero

This is a weird album for me. I strongly dislike it, but a part of me enjoys it. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense. It can be described like an ex you hate but a part of you still loves. I’ve listened to Sum 41 for five years, and Underclass Hero is their only album that has disappointed me. How could I possibly dislike an album that has melodies that remind me so much of singing along to All Killer No Filler?

I’ve been anticipating Underclass Hero for months. Once I finally received it, I thought to myself, if only this could be the poppy, anthem-filled follow-up I’ve been waiting for since All Killer No Filler. I certainly thought so as the album kicked off with the title-track “Underclass Hero.” Filled with juvenile-themed lyrics (“Now it’s us against them / We’re here to represent / And spit right in the face of the establishment”) and a re-hash of the chorus to a previous b-side “Subject To Change” (Irony, much?), “Underclass Hero” left me with a constant need to look at Winamp to see if I wasn’t playing “Fat Lip.” The song quickly climbed the charts of my last.fm’s “most played songs” through repetitive plays. All is well in the pop-punk spot (a very, very large spot..) of my ears after “Underclass Hero” is over.

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