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Sum 41 – Chuck

Sort of like the All Time Low stuff that I reviewed the other day, this is basically more power punk pop. I will grant, however, that this is heavier-sounding, the guitars more crunchy and metal. Nice one!

Sadly, what I heard on some of the tracks was other bands. The intro to Some Say reminds of Oasis, Bitter End starts out like Metallica’s Master of Puppets and the meat of it is really close to Battery. Welcome To Hell is an almost note-for-note run-through of an Offspring tune off Smash (can’t recall which, but it hardly matters). And the intro to Pieces is the chords to Cranberries’ Zombie. I had heard this one on the radio.

You know something, the teens will love this (and I’m sure they do). But I’m about 20 years past falling for this, now. Had I heard this in 2004, when this came out, though? Maybe.

Labatt Blue 2004 Music Series (samplers)

Trolling a local used bookshop recently, I found three (cheap!) CDs that had to come home. They appear to be freebie 3-song sampler discs of Canadian bands tossed into cases of beer sometime in 2004. All three bands had albums coming out that year, too, so there’s some advertising value there as well.

The ones I found were still in their shrink-wrapping, too. Interesting. I wonder why whomever found them didn’t at least play them once… I’m not sure if there are others in the series, but I got Sum 41, Our Lady Peace and the Tragically Hip.

I played the Sum 41 disc first (by virtue of it being on the top of the pile). I can’t really comment on the music here, as I haven’t made a great effort to listen to this band in general to date. It sounds to me like generic pop-punk with snot-nosed lyrics, and an occasional acoustic guitar thrown in to make people think they have depth. Green Day Of The North. Still, it was fun enough to play these songs and I didn’t hate them. I just can’t imagine playing it a lot.

Next up was the Our Lady Peace disc. I don’t know why, but I have never really liked this band. I mean, their first album was acceptable, at the time, but I just never got too excited about them after that. I think the singer’s voice, which is quite grating and nasally annoying, that puts me off their stuff in general. Their disc in this series sounds, to me, like typical OLP, so for fans I’m sure this was great. There was some suspect ‘live crowd sounds’ on the ‘concert’ tracks that just sounded like they were added later in a studio. Weak. I once read that OLP was bigger than the Hip in this country, and I say bollocks to that. This disc was fine, but it ain’t for me.

Lastly I played the Hip, and it made the other two seem like a warm-up. Sure, I’m biased, but I’m also right. So there. First we get a pre-In Between Evolution album track, followed by two live tracks (and they actually sound like they were recorded on the date given). Gordie does some of his babbling, the guitars are intricate and gorgeous and, like every live Hip track I’ve heard, they make me wish I was at a Hip show. Right now.

So yah, of the three, I liked the Hip’s disc the best, but from them I knew what to expect and I got it. The other two were OK, but nothing to get all hot and bothered about, really. All deference to the other bands themselves. I’m sure that beer-sponsored money came in handy.

Track Listings:
Sum 41
01 Moron
02 Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
03 No Brains

Our Lady Peace
01 Do You Like It (live)
02 In Repair (live)
03 Not Afraid (previously unreleased)

Tragically Hip
01 Heaven Is A Better Place Today
02 Bobcaygeon (live 6-21-03)*
03 Music @ Work (live 6-21-03)

*listed on this package as “In Bobcaygeon.”

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