Sum 41
Screaming Bloody Murder


1.5
very poor

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 26th, 2011 | 615 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So who did Sum 41 steal from to make their new album this time?

A slightly abbreviated band biography on Sum 41 could very well read like this: Approximately ten or so years ago, Sum 41 came up with a vocal melody that banked itself on obvious rhymes concluding each lyrical line of their songs - along with guitar riffs. With this vocal melody, the band fought and suffocated itself through approximately four and a half albums of pop punk in the Green Day-blink-182 vein.

Hmm, harsh. Yet true – Sum 41, while changing how they portrayed their sound, via pop, via pseudo-metal, have always been Sum 41, always have had that signature vocal melody running through the majority of their songs. When the band, particularily frontman Deryck Whibley, has stated that the band’s next studio album is a new evolution for the band’s sound, he, or the band, is merely referring to a, slightly, new way that Sum 41 will next hit us with their elementary rhymes and shallow hooks that can’t even begin to hold their own to that of 2001’s break-out single for the band, “Fat Lip”. The band has been chasing its next big hit for the past decade, whether it admits it or not, and in the instances where the band comes the closest to approaching chart success, Sum 41 merely seem to be replicating the “Fat Lip” formula – see singles “Still Waiting” and “Underclass Hero”.

This sounds like a One-Hit Wonder that should have given up a while back, and if Underclass Hero or Screaming Bloody Murder are anything to go by, Sum 41 are long overdue for retirement, more or less dead. The prior is infamous for being considered a mess upon its 2007 release by critics, both for its recycling of the band's past hits, or melodies, rather, and for it having blatantly ripped off other cousin bands: blink-182's "Violence" via "Pull The Curtain", Yellowcard's "Only One" via "With Me", and in general the whole concept and layout of Underclass Hero, Green Day's American Idiot. Such a walking disaster has made expectations for the latter new album to be minuscule and virtually non-existent, save from the fans - just check out the comments sections for the updates of Screaming Bloody Murder around the net, as well as here – and it's little surprise that the general consensus about how this thing will turn out is indeed confirmed:

The new Sum 41 album sucks.

But the production values are good. Props to Whibley for that. But yeah, Screaming Bloody Murder sucks. Pointless and revoltingly pseudo-epic, "Reason To Believe" cocktails us into the pleasant if ineffective lead single and title-track, a decent, driving song in its own right until you realize that its aping Foo Fighters's "Pretender" in its sandwiching of smooth instrumental and vocal sections with a grizzly, riff-heavy center of Sum 41 at their best Chuck imitation in six years. The whole business with flip-flopping slower, more peaceful sections of the music with the more typical Sum 41 skateboard-aesthetic sound gets way overdone throughout the album, though - a ploy first used on Underclass Hero's "Walking Disaster", hardy har har - so by the time "Blood In My Eyes" starts in with Whibley's crooning eleven tracks in before a distortion attack, you can't help but feel tired and cheated by the band.

"Blood" isn't even the end, though, as Screaming Bloody Murder contains a whopping fourteen tracks and a fifty-minute running time, i.e. too much. Anything vaguely interesting that the band throws your way throughout is poorly underdeveloped, and in the case of "Holy image of Lies", is an utter mess. Whibley still relies far too much on that infamous Sum 41-melody spoken of earlier, some instances working better than others, as in "Jessica Kills", which recalls the better moments of All Killer, No Filler Pt.2 - err, I mean Does This Look Infected?, over "Time for You to Go" and "Baby You Don't Wanna Know", which are both just awful, lazy songs that make you wonder if Whibley just gave up mid-demo. Sum 41 push for a power ballad again in "What Am I To Say", but low and behold it apes "With Me" in both its melody and layout. Since that track was originally stolen from Yellowcard to begin with, well – good Lord, guys. Are you serious?

Revolting, messy, lazy, and undeniably Sum 41, Screaming Bloody Murder is a dead band moaning in its grave. Any highlights here more or less just belong to other, better bands, or even Sum 41 themselves from the past, which makes you wonder if Whibley and his buddies really learned anything from the disaster that was Underclass Hero. Sure, Whibley pulls out an excellent sound for the album via his production job, and even his voice has notably improved - whether that's just the studio, given the strong job, remains a mystery, though - but without a collection of good, hell, just decent songs to apply both to, who really cares? Sum 41 are washed-up, out of line, and are seemingly having a hell of a time just dying in peace. Put it to rest, guys. The game is finished, and as is evidenced by your output, so are you.



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user ratings (406)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • ispeakzenglishgood (4)
    Sum 41 return to form with their darkest, most layered and one of their best albums to dat...

    Hovercun7 (1.5)
    Sum 41 fail to pick up the pieces of the mess they made of Underclass Hero, and instead ki...

    ConsiderPhlebas (1.5)
    A lifeless shadow of what they once were...

    SowingSeason STAFF (1)
    Screaming Bloody Murder is like a steaming pile of garbage: anyone with a brain larger tha...

  • Jordan Speare (3)
    Whibley and the gang return with their most complete, mature album to date…but is that a...

    Richard Coffey (2.5)
    Sum 41 return with an album that, while better than its predecessor, is still underwhelmin...


Comments:Add a Comment 
lookatthatparkinglot
March 26th 2011


168 Comments


awesome review. won't listen, but awesome review.

ebay
March 26th 2011


501 Comments


I feel like this is a band I can't really judge because of the demographic it's centered towards. When I was in junior high (ok even through most of high school) I thought this band was tight just because I didn't have a very matured taste in music. I'm just frankly not into this adolescent pop-punk stuff anymore. Props to them if they can squeeze out the approval of more teenagers, but they've never been able to keep their original fans with them because they don't have the talent to musically mature, which I guess goes along with what you were saying about them leeching content and styles off of other (better) bands.

iFghtffyrdmns
March 26th 2011


7047 Comments


even more fantastic writing Jared.
will certainly avoid this, as I have done with essentially every release of theirs after AKNF.

aesthetics
March 26th 2011


108 Comments


cool.

climactic
March 26th 2011


19850 Comments


not gunna bother

BassDemon333
March 26th 2011


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This album is so bad. Good review.

Rev
March 26th 2011


9439 Comments


Good review, but DTLI? is not AKNF II

RCKilm
March 26th 2011


232 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

stormin through the party like my name was el nino

Knott-
Emeritus
March 26th 2011


10198 Comments


a descent


ReadyForTheHouse
March 26th 2011


53 Comments


"...Screaming Bloody Murder is a dead band moaning in its grave." I'm on the floor!

Calling an album 'Underclass Hero' was preposterous and this sounds like I'd enjoy it about as much as Metal Machine Music.

Rev
March 26th 2011


9439 Comments


Metal Machine Music is better

Ponton
Emeritus
March 26th 2011


5816 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Thanks guys and knott good eye

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


28791 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

wow Jared this is a pretty awful review

i think your anger affected your writing lol

Willie
Moderator
March 26th 2011


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't care what anyone says, Chuck and Does this Look Infected are good albums. Good review, Jared, I won't be listening to this.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

BassDemon333
March 26th 2011


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

All Killer No Filler, Does This Look Infected?, and Chuck are great albums. This is complete shit though. Doesnt even sound like Sum 41.

NateT
March 26th 2011


185 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ouch, that was a harsh review haha. I'll have to listen to it again, but I didn't think it was quite that bad. Not amazing stuff, but not as bad as it is made out to be in your review.

Scoot
March 26th 2011


17889 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really isn't as bad as the review says and is quite a bit better than underclass hero.

one thing leaving fucked them up: brownsound.

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

erasedcitizen
March 26th 2011


716 Comments


Yep, it's gotta be that. Bands don't fall completely off a cliff after a member leaves unless he was very important to their sound.

Tyrael
March 26th 2011


20948 Comments


He shoots and he scores! Well done.

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


8387 Comments


Good review Jared, not surprised that this is balls since Underclass Hero really was quite bad and if you say they even rip themselves off here, then dear lord are they in need of new ideas or what.

Chuck and All Killer No Filler are still cool records though.



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