Suckerbox - Suckerbox (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Suckerbox (2007)


When I reviewed Suckerbox's debut Sucks! a while back, one of the biggest detractors I pointed to in giving that album the score I did was the lousy production. Thankfully, the production on this self-titled followup is worlds better and makes listening more bearable. Despite that, much like Sucks!, Suckerbox impresses at times but confounds at others.

As on Sucks!, most of what makes up Suckerbox is an homage to the Buzzcocks/old Green Day style of mid-tempo pop-punk, and Suckerbox are at their best when they keep it simple like this. Opener "Bottled Up" has some cool "whoa-oh"s and a catchy chorus. Actually, the best part of this record are the strong choruses that make some of the best songs (the aforementioned "Bottled Up," "Disconnected and Rejected," album closer "Drugs and Cigarettes"). Everyone has heard this style of music thousands of times over but when it's this enjoyable, who cares?

It's when they stray from that style that the album's momentum and overall quality suffers. "Can't Ignore" and "Oh Father" are two puzzling songs that are a little modern rockish for my tastes. There's also some questionable sequencing at tracks 6-8, with "Open Wide," a bad pseudo-metal song (why?) sandwiched between two slices of acoustic-based pop in "Finding My Way" and "Killing Time." Both "Stupid Ho," which despite its title has a strong chorus with a lot of handclaps of which I'm pretty much always in favor of, and the aforementioned "Drugs and Cigarettes" do an admirable job of trying to restore momentum, but the damage is already done.

The potential is certainly here, if Suckerbox would just quit screwing around and write an album full of pop-punk goodness instead of trying to do too much. This is an improvement over Sucks! but these guys aren't quite there yet.