CD: Sum 41, Underclass Hero

(Mercury)

It's been a turbulent three years for Sum 41. After fleeing crossfire in the Congo while traveling with War Child in 2004, the multimillion-selling Canadian pop-punks have had to face the hardships of losing their lead guitarist, Derek Baksh, to a heavy metal band, and the heart of their lead singer, Deryck Whibley, to new wife Avril Lavigne. Fittingly, Underclass Hero fancies itself as a weighty arbiter of these events, filling its lyric sheet with tales of going down in flames, paranoia and love. A shame, then, that such sentiments are rendered as blandly as lazy graffiti tags, with the music accompanying them as bold and portentous as a light shower. Despite the odd colourful interlude when their melodies recall Weezer or Fountains of Wayne, and odd tracks such as Ma Poubelle - a jaunty slice of misogyny in French, no less - they remain as they were: Green Day without the range and the charm.

Contributor

Jude Rogers

The GuardianTramp

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