Sum 41 releases their 3rd album “Does This Look Infected?”, however this one takes a slightly different direction than their other two previous releases (Half Hour of Power & All Killer No Filler). This new album will most likely please punk fans of all kinds. From pop-punkers to more hardcore fans, and it will possibly convert some of those “Sum 41 suck” people who hate the band simply because their popular. The CD itself is, on first impression, not what you would expect it to be. The cover-art looks original, but CHEAP. The sound quality is clear, but not crystal clear, with some song’s words being meshed in with the instruments, making them hard to make out at first.
The first track is definitely not the best track on the CD but it’s a good opener. It’s medium paced and has typical lyrics for many punk bands, but they’re not typical for Sum 41. Where as their former CD’s were happier and poppier, this CD is much more down to earth; it’s serious, darker, and tells it like it is. The opening song has nice instrumentals and variations in the vocals. They range from fast and loud to slow and low-keyed. The end of the song is the best with harmonic wailing in the background combined with a slur of words at a nice rhyming pace.
The second song “Over My Head” is probably the best song on the CD. It has excellent instrumentals and perfectly timed lyrics. This is also, in my opinion, Sum’s best song on any CD. It elongates the words at the beginning of a verse, “I’m fallin’ I’m fallinnnnn...” then slams the next verse “NOW I’m In Over My HEAD” and adds a few screams in there, (and throughout the entire CD) which I feel make this album their best yet. They did a lot of maturing for this release.
Song #3, “My direction” is a typical Sum 41 song with a medium pace that you can sing along to, but has parts that pick up the temp and really make the song stand out. It also has Sum’s standard elaboration of every word in some parts of the song, “When - will - all - my - problems disappear,” with a drumbeat placed between almost every word.
The fourth song is “Still Waiting” which most people have heard. This is the song rated #2 in my book. It’s got a fast, almost hardcore feel to it without going completely crazy. I guess it’s got that hardcore feel because it’s one of their more metal influenced songs. It’s not a happy song either which is oddly enough a nice change from their other CD’s which were mostly cheerful i.e.- “In to Deep” being uplifting melodic.
Still waiting is followed up by A**hole. It’s not really a song though. Its start with an aggravated miss-tab, some swears, and has a snotty chorus. Then it’s done, I think it should have been added as song 9 or just left out, but it does fine here.
Back to the real music, “Yesterday.com.” I’m not quite sure why it’s titled this, but the title doesn’t matter anyway! The song is great, the lyrics are good, and the pace is again medium-fast. But the best parts of the song are at 1:00 and especially 1:16 when the song picks up in lyrics and speed. After the increase in speed it mellows out a little, but then some more of those screams get added in and the song finishes strong with another speed-up.
“All Messed up” is a good follow-up to Yesterday.com. This song is most like Sum 41's other songs, the guitar riffs are energetic and the words are annunciated between drumbeats. There’s a nice change in pace around 1:18. The best part comes a little over two minutes. I can’t really explain why, but it’s just how the words flow that makes it better than the rest of the song. Over all this song’s catchy, and a little slower paced than the others but it’s still a great song.
“Mr. Amsterdam” hits next, it’s again a little more of a hardcore-rock song but it’s one of the standout tracks. The pace is quicker and has some killer screams. With awesome pick-ups in speed, and lyrical melodicy (I don’t think that’s a word but you know what I mean!) The instrumental part of the song is great too. OK moving on...
“Thanks for nothing” follows at track #9. The opening guitar sounds like something from Nirvana, but the opening is where that ends. This is the first song with rapping in it, and I believe the last. This is a slower paced song, but it’s not a slow song by any means. Its rhythm is incredible and it’s a nice compliment to a full, well-rounded CD.
“Hyper insomnia” is next, and it’s a great song too. The speed of the lyrics varies greatly per verse. It will have a drawn out line followed by a slurred line and a medium-melodic line. The best part is that some of the verses are complied right on top of each other... “How long will this take to wear offfff-ON AND ON...” With “off’ fading out as “on and on” is being screamed in.
Final song = “Hooch.” A good song, but in my opinion one of the weakest songs on the CD. It’s starts off fantastic but toward the middle it kicks down a notch and your waiting for it to kick up and knock your socks off but that doesn’t happen and the song finishes out quite and soothing. A few screams in this song but they’re in the way-way background.
Overall a great CD, it has something for all kinds of fans. I don’t see how people can use the excuse that this CD sucks just because Sum 41 is so popular or sell-outs. I don’t see that simply because it seems like there are more people out there who hate these guys than love them. If you want some energetic music with melodic lyrics, which are carefully placed then you should go out and pick this CD up.
Cover Art- 2/5- Nothing special
Sound Quality- 8/10- Not as clear a you think it would be for Sum 41
First impression- 3/5- It’s hard to make a differentiation between the tracks at first
Lasting appeal- 9/10- One of the best CD’s this year (along with Allister’s Last Stop Suburbia), especially with the upset by Good Charlotte, that I thought would be huge, but disappointed me.
Best Song(s)- Over My Head, Still Waiting
Is it Something Special?- I think it is; The CD is complete with great lyrics, melodies, instrumentals, and variations in the songs. It’s a big step from their other CDs, all of which I loved. I don’t care what other people say about their music. If I like it, I like it! I listen to a wide variety of bands; Face to Face, Drop Kick Murphy’s, Amazing Transparent Man...
This CD will please punk fans of all kinds. From pop, to hardcore rockers, probably not Emo fans however. If you pick this CD up, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Overall Rating- 94/100