Pop punk: "because there is no fourth chord". Its an ethos thats served their forefathers well and Sum 41s 2000 debut Half Hour of Power
, sticks firmly to this frantic fretboard formula.
Their hugely successful All Killer No Filler album was recorded only two months after this--to say that they are cut from the same cloth is an understatement, but not necessarily a bad thing. What they lack in the assured canniness that Blink 182 occasionally produce (dirty jokes aside of course) they make up for with catchy riffs and a fine line in pre-pubescent white-boy rap--so much so that youd think The Offspring aimed "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" at them.
"Makes No Difference" is as close to the brilliance of "Fat Lip" as it gets here, but the breezy "Summer" keeps the adrenaline pumping where the tunes falls short (and a catchy hookline is essential for songs like these to succeed).
Their delinquency is reminiscent of Ashs 1977 (with similar photo album booklets), but where Tim Wheeler wrote "Girl From Mars", "Bizzy" has written "Daves Possessed Hair" with the lyrics "You say youre a pacifist/Instead you wave your fist." Close, but no Harry Winterman cigar. Quintessential casualties of middle-brow, white-collar, suburban society, this is 30 minutes of power but only 15 minutes of tunes.
Good enough for what it achieved but its hard to see if they have the ability (or desire) to evolve and graduate from this tiresome genre and write classics like Green Day did.
Still, they seem to be having the time of their lives while they can and that, apparently, is all that matters.--Ben Johncock