Simple Plan - No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls (Cover Artwork)

Simple Plan

No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls (2002)


After enduring the long lines and sweltering heat, I remember finally crossing the precious gates of the 2000 Warped Tour. Wandering over to the second stage, I found a very sparse crowd and a punk-pop three piece called Reset. I knew of them because of my radio show, and after receiving their disc No Limits, I had been spinning a track called "Pollution" quite heavily. They looked amazed as I was singing the lyrics to some of their tunes, as many of the openers of Warped would be.

Enter 2002, and just when I was looking through my CD's and wondering the whereabouts of these Canadian punkers, I stumble upon an article on the web about a group called Simple Plan, containing ex-members of Reset. I was shocked to see that the band is already on Atlantic Records, before I have ever even heard of them.

So I grab the album, based on the fact that Reset was pretty cool. Driving home, I'm rocking out to "I'd Do Anything", and laugh when I hear a familiar punk popper in the background.

As the album continues, I find the songs pretty damn catchy. Sure they are all your basic run-of- the-mill cheesy punk pop, but if you take it for what its worth, the songs are pretty well structured.

"The Worst Day Ever", and "I'm Just A Kid" (you know, the video with the cheerleader hottie) could get stuck in your head whether you want to admit it or not. And if you like Blink and Mest (replace the midgets with hotties, and Wasting Time looks like SP's album cover at arms length), you might enjoy this album.

However as I listened closely to this record, I became more concerned. The lyrics to these songs seem like they were the ones I wrote in 7th grade math class. The song topics cover summer jobs, forgetting to study, running away from home, and strict parents. Hey but wait, in the video those dudes didn't look that young…and they are not. After perusing their bios, I see that most of the members are of legal drinking age. "Last night I had to study for this test/I forgot man I'm dead". Dude, high school should be a memory for you guys now. "Sometimes this house feels like a prison/that I cant leave behind". Then move out!

My point is that maybe Atlantic had a "Simple Plan". Create a pop punk band to cater to the TRL market. It's just weird not seeing these guys on and indie anywhere. And being the same age as these guys, I know that my life has become a little more complicated than "I took my dad's car/I never thought he would find out".

Musically this album is pretty catchy if you are into this genre. You'll be tapping away on the wheel. But lyrically, I just can't see any sincerity here. This can't come from that broken heart seen in the bands logo.

So crank this album on the way to the beach. Just don't let the other cars get close enough to hear that you're just a kid.