Friday saw the release of Sum 41’s new album “13 Voices”. This has been something I have been waiting to drop on my desk for a while, with great excitement and great apprehension…I hit the play button.
The album starts with ‘A Murder of Crows (You’re All Dead to Me)’ which will make you stand up and take notice, this track is like a war horn, a signal cry to all out there, rallying the lost defenders of pop punk back to the battle. It brings back great memories of 2001 and even little goose bums upon the first listen. Don’t misunderstand my description of this song though, it is not a nostalgic look back but, a shout at the past that Deryck Whibley is fucking done with it. The album then jumps into what can only be described as a great solo metal riff as the intro of “Goddamn I’m Dead Again” kicks in. They don’t do the fopar of having this be seventeen minutes long and the chorus kick in at 27 seconds and the pop punk spirit hits. For a band that have always been criticized for not being technical this track puts that into the dirt.
For those looking for nu-metal style rap, look no further than “The Rise And The Fall“. Where this isn’t of the same style of Fat Lip, it shows that they still embrace their old sound but, are introducing new elements to it like the slowly building drum beat in combination with the guitar fading in and out. “Fake My Own Death” along with “There Will Be Blood” are the closest to being pop punk songs on the album. “Breaking The Chain” and “War” have a more rock ballad feel.
For Deryck Whibley (and I suspect a lot of others who will listen to this album) 13 voices is the therapy that he needed. He produced and engineered 13 Voices entirely on his own in his house, he wrote the tracks in tandem with his recovering health (from his flirt with destruction in 2014). He recalls: “Due to neuropathy, muscle atrophy and medication that caused permanent nerve damage in my legs and feet left me unable to walk and in excruciating pain for months. I had to learn how to do everything again—my motor skills, learning how to play guitar. It was really difficult, but at the same time if I didn’t have a record to make, I don’t think I would have recovered as quickly, or even at all.”
Out of the returning trivector of pop punk bands this year (Blink-182, Good Charlotte and Sum 41). This is by far the best of the bunch and is my album of the year. And the reason why? It is due to how progressed this is for Sum 41. The album is still pop punk at the core but, has incorporated, metal riffs, rock power and hardcore energy.
- A Murder of Crows (Your’re All Dead To Me)
- Goddamn I’m Dead Again
- Fake My Own Death
- Braking The Chain
- There Will Be Blood
- 13 Voices
- God Save Us All
- The Rise And The Fall
- Twisted By Design