Chuck

Studio Album by released in 2006
Chuck's tracklist:
Intro
No Reason
We're All to Blame
Angels With Dirty Faces
Some Say
The Bitter End
Open Your Eyes
Slipping Away
I'm Not the One
Welcome to Hell
Pieces
There's No Solution
88
Noots
Moron
Subject to Change

Chuck review

Sum 41 hit worldwide radar in 1996 after tiny Ajax, Ontario, proved unable to fully contain the foursome's blathering mixture of punk-pop riffing, hip-hop poses, and toilet-bowl humor. Led by guitarist/vocalist Deryck Whibley, who looked like a mashup of the Prodigy's Keith Flint and cartoon land's Calvin, the band also included guitarist/vocalist Dave Baksh, bassist Cone McCaslin, and drummer Steve Jocz. There's nothing like a brush with death to make you take life more seriously. Even if you're a bunch of snotty punks like Sum 41. In June 2004, Sum 41 was in Congo filming a documentary for charity when they found themselves caught in the midst of the country's ongoing hostilities. But a UN aid worker named Chuck Pelletier was instrumental in getting the band to safety, and a grateful Sum 41 named their fourth album in his honor. The experience also seems to have mellowed the group's sarcastic streak. From its aggressive metal and hardcore overtones to lyrics that rail against societal ignorance and a world gone wrong, Chuck is a few steps ahead of the smirking, jocular anthems that populated Sum 41's previous output. This suddenly sober outlook hasn't lessened the rock power, though.

While the vocals remain the same, the uptempo songs are among the band's heaviest. Lead single We're All to Blame lashes out at greed with some vicious metal riffing, Bitter End takes its cues from the double-bass kicks and furious lead solos of Anthrax, and There's No Solution's layered vocals, psychological fretting, and explosive chorus shift give it a Linkin Park feel. Sum 41 also avoids employing too many "serious" add-ons, such as string sections or synthesizers. Chuck does have a few passages of acoustic guitar (most effectively on the low-key Slipping Away). But like Sum 41's previous efforts, it's a concise album that clocks in at just over a half-hour, with a basic understanding that fast and loud is what the band does best. But this time around, Sum 41 has made sure to set its message at the same high volume.

Green Day wrote a punk-opera with "American Idiot." If this is Sum 41's attempt at leaving adolescence behind, they're certainly doing it for the right reasons. This album is the Sum 41's smartest and most mature work to date. No, the boys aren't writing about economic imperialism or bullets whizzing over their heads. But they are writing about taking responsibility for your actions and making the world a better place. Chuck also marks a musical evolution for Sum 41. While their basic recipe remains an equal mix of Green Day and Iron Maiden, they up the metal quotient while adding dashes of Nirvana grunge and Beatle-pop to these 13 cuts. Beneath a maelstrom of metal riffs that pick up where Metallica left off, Deryck Whibley’s straining voice rips angry lyrics that show they’ve finally taken an interest in the world beyond their tour bus.

(13.07.2005)
Rate review4.24
Total votes - 231


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