1 December 2016

Sum 41 - 13 Voices

Much like Blink-182, Sum 41 are mostly known for being silly, fart jokes and college boy humour as they call it these days.  They have always been able to knock out a good tune, but sometimes the image over shadowed the music.  But that is their past, how about now?  Now they are signed to Hopeless Records, sourcing this album via the PledgeMusic network and there seems to be something different happening here.  Let us see what it is all about….

01 – A Murder of Crows

I was not expecting this sort of beginning from Sum 41; where are the fart jokes and swearing?  It is almost mature in some ways with a hint of industrial to the sound as well.  The feeling of isolation and despair that has been building up, someone is must say goodbye to the past and it all comes together in this slow and moody opening.  It is not what I would have expected, but it is not unwelcome either and to be honest it could have been extended (who have thought I was saying this about Sum 41…...).

02 – Goddamn I’m Dead Again

Now we are back on familiar territory; punk, punk, punk!  It is moodier than when I last encountered them, but it is a fast-paced number to jump around to, it has a few metal touches as normal and it smashes past you in a fast-paced style.  Is it the most essential thing ever, not really; but that does not mean it is not fun, as it makes me smile from ear to ear.

03 – Fake My Own Death

There is a recurring them already and we are only three tracks into this album, death is ever present and he is playing cards on this song.  The first song I heard from this album and it is a corker from beginning to end; a manic riff, a huge hit of energy and it has such a great hook.  I am still awaiting the fart jokes, but it is a great song here and I feel like I am in uncharted territory with this band at this point.

04 – Breaking the Chain

Another synth opening on this album, a song about being lost and trying to pick yourself up after making a break with your past, this is another moody number that is showing the growth in the band and that they are moving on to new pastures in a way.  It is really surprising the change of this band on this song and on the album so far, this is a heavy/moody rock number that is definitely changing my opinion on this band.

05 – There Will Be Blood

More misery, more metal to the mix and more shouty punk; this song is a fist pumping number that already sounds like it will become a solid addition to their set.  The lyrics have religious overtones, mixed with a Piped Piper-esque chorus, showering the world with a new-found attitude.  It is effortless and sounds so good, I am really scared that I might be possessed at this point.

06 – 13 Voices

Inspired by watching Quentin Tarantino films without the sound, the title track of this album is a fast-paced number that is the first to sound like their older material.  It is one that has a good hook, masses of energy and it is never allows you to rest whilst it is on.  It is not as exciting as the first five tracks, but it is still a good number and not a fart joke in sight.

07 – War

The second single from this album, a song about the personal battle that single Deryck Whibley’s has faced with his health and his addictions.  The song is very important to the singer as he has stated in his interviews and it is formed in a classic rock theme which has little to do with their normal punk style and I can understand the importance to him and the band.  It is not totally my thing, but I never the less applaud the idea and sentiment behind the song.

08 – God Save Us All (Death to POP)

Ironically the poppiest song so far on the album, this was the third song to be released as a single from the album.  It is more shouty pop punk, full of energy and still as moody as a teenager who has been dragged clothes shopping.   It is decent, throwaway, but still a good listen.

09 – The Fall & The Rise

A song about being defying the odds, musically it is a bit like Swedish rock legends Backyard Babies.  It is a pop song once again, but it is done very well and it once again has more energy than one band has any right to truly deserve.   The vocals are not as smooth as others on the album, but still a decent number.

10 – Twisted by Design

Another song about facing yourself, looking at the past and moving on, ‘Twisted by Design’ brings the curtain down on this album in dramatic design.  It is similar to ‘War’ in the respect that it is deeply personal, it is a dramatic sounding sound and has a deeply personal message behind the lyrics; but this song is the better of the two to be honest.  It has that drama and the guitar sound really good on this one, a good place to end the album.

This is definitely an album of two halves for me, it starts off really good and then it sort of reverts to type in a way, but thankfully all the fart jokes are left to the wayside.  I like the mature side of this album, it really does stand out head and shoulders above their other work and I think that this is an album that Sum 41 should be proud of.  But as I said, it does drop a bit in the middle so it does lose a mark or two, that said, it is the best Sum 41 album I have heard and I hope that they can explorer this sound a bit more.

7 out of ten – This is good and really work checking out.

Top track – Breaking The Chain.

You can purchase 13 Voices from Amazon here.

You can visit the Sum 41 website here.

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