The violin intro of Breaking the Chain, the sudden blast of drums followed by a strong guitar tone is one of the most exciting intros Sum 41 may have ever done. When it does get going we’ve got a rock song on par with We’re All To Blame & Still Waiting, it’s huge but with some beautifully done vocal work.
This is Sum 41 grown up…hoping for more Fat Lip or In Too Deep? Look elsewhere. Sum 41 are shedding their pop-rock skin & it couldn’t come at a better time. Had they returned with an attempt at capturing their youth it would have fallen flat on its face. Now that’s not to say there aren’t moments on this album that sound a bit more traditional Sum 41. Songs like Fake My Own Death & God Save Us All (Death to POP) have a bit more pop-rock bounce about them. These songs are the ones that are lacking interesting hooks & melodies.
It’s also nice not to see the album weighted in one direction. Early tracks like the opener, A Murder of Crows fit nicely along the more ballad-like War & the riff-driven Twisted By Design.
It’s not all golden though, The Fall and the Rise is a bland sounding pop-rock track that uses a few too many effects resulting in some jarring moments. The more upbeat stuff doesn’t fit as well with some of the darker tones & lyrics. It can make for a confusing listen were it’s not quite clear that Sum 41 are 100% sure just what their sound is now.
What it does do though is leave you in a positive mind that Sum 41 are back & now have the potential to take this, build on it & put out an absolute banger next time. For now this is a good album & way better than expected.
Overall Track Listing:
A Murder of Crows
Goddamn I’m Dead Again
Fake My Own Death
Breaking the Chain
There Will be Blood
God Save Us All (Death to POP)
The Fall and the Rise
Twisted by Design
Sum 41 - 13 Voices (Hopeless Records)