Sum 41’s “Underclass Hero”

Sum 41 / Underclass Hero / July 24, 2007
♫ 05. Count Your Last Blessings

Are people still writing music like this? Sum 41 take us back to the early 00s with a Blink-182 coverband-esque album, with little to no innovation save for a very large influence of said band’s last original album, with a huge heap of Billy Armstrong’s vocals. The songs are short, but seldom sweet, as the lead singer attempts to start controversy with “Speak of the Devil” (“Was here before Christ / had forgave you your sins“), addresses his paterna familias in “Oh Father” and channels Green Day’s “Holiday” in “March of the Dogs,” pledging allegiance to the underclass and announcing the president’s death, a rather stirring tour de knock-off. Stand out track is probably “Count Your Blessings,” a fast-paced melodic track with a haunting piano loop; the only indication the group stepped outside of their standard instrument trifecta. A sprinkling of short interludes take the form of useless, sometimes peppered with French lyrics (”Ma Poubelle”), leading into the penultimate “Good Riddance”esque “With Me,” as Whibley quietly humbles himself (“I don’t want this moment to ever end / Where everything’s nothing without you“) a rather schizophrenic backpedaling of the general direction the album hints at going to, but fails to muster any convincing evidence. Looks like Lavigne’s bringing home the bacon this year.

(On a side note: I heard the band as a guest on Loveline and found the threesome beyond hilarious. Check out the archives to stream the show.)

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