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Album Review: Sum 41 - Screaming Bloody Murder

I'll admit that despite its obvious attempt of being a mix of Blink-182's 'Take Off Your Pants and Jacket' and Green Day's 'American Idiot', Sum 41's last album, 2007's 'Underclass Hero' was actually pretty good. Now in 2011, Sum 41 are back with 'Screaming Bloody Murder', a record that from the start is subtly darker, if not heavier. From the opening pounding drums of 'Reason To Believe', the Canadian quartet are instantly in their stride and over the next 14 tracks they draw you in with their dense brand of rock.

Whilst the band are long removed from their post-millenium goffy pop-punk days, they are clearly still capable of providing catchy hooks as the albums title track shows, whilst at the same time the bands heavier, more fiery side adds to the bands sound.

Elsewhere 'Time For You To Go', 'Crash' and 'Jessica Kills' are the fast-paced, punk numbers that Sum 41 have built a healthy career on. Although 'Over Now' is the somewhat predictable ballad, it gives a welcomed break, as by the half way point 'Screaming Bloody Murder' seems to all blend into one and floats along at its own pace.

Stylistically the band somewhat falter, as their sound doesn't stretch itself and at times the band seem stuck in a rut. However this downfall is made up by the bands songwriting, throughout the band keep you interested as later tracks like 'Baby You Don't Wanna Know' and 'Back Where I Belong' show; well-structured and keep up the momentum to the very end.

The bands adrenaline-filled bursts of borderline radio rock proves to be 'Screaming Bloody Murder''s saviour, as ultimately it ran the risk of showing Sum 41 being a band of their former selves. Instead the bands mix of mature, sensible song writing and thorough approach, leads to 'Screaming Bloody Murder' being a worthwhile record.


'Screaming Bloody Murder' by Sum 41 is available now on Island Records.

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Words by Sean Reid

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