Album Review: Sum 41 – “Screaming Bloody Murder”

For Deryck Whibley, frontman and guitarist for Canadian foursome Sum 41, the song-writing process on the new album  “Screaming Bloody Murder” was something he said he had “no-control over.” Not in the sense that he wasn’t doing the writing, but rather he just wrote freely and had no idea what was going to come out. The end product? An album in which he poured his heart out into the lyrics and one that is personal, emotional, but most importantly, totally rocking.

Whatever you want to call it, the writing on this album could be attributed to the maturing process. After all, the guys are older and are now considered musical veterans. But it also meant taking that next step in their careers. I’ve seen bands try to come back and write another song like their “greatest song ever” off their “best record of all time.” Not these guys. In a recent interview, Whibley stated that he can’t ever write the same song twice and that he writes whatever comes out.

That’s what “Screaming Bloody Murder,” the latest album from arguably one of Canada’s greatest punk/rock exports, is.  “Screaming Bloody Murder” doesn’t try to be that “back-to-our-old-school-sound-to-appease-our-fans”-record, but stands alone as a solid album that shows us exactly where Sum 41 wants to be right now.

The production on the these songs are good, but it certainly helps that Whibley’s voice has seemingly gotten stronger. He still maintains his trademark vocal style, but he sings better here than on any other album the band has put out. My only criticism of the album is that it doesn’t seem to flow as smoothly as I would have liked. At times, the ideas feel disjointed. I don’t know if that’s something that the band wanted to do, but I found myself looking back to see what track I was on.

Stand out songs? “What Am I Supposed To Say?” and “Holy Image of Lies (A Dark Road Out Of Hell)” (and the ensuing 2 songs are good also.) Final verdict? It’s a solid album, it’s worth a listen or to if you can get past your “I hate Sum 41, they killed the scene”-type of mentality.

“Screaming Bloody Murder” was released yesterday, March 29th, on Island Records.

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Comments 6

  • This might be pretty bad, but, surprisingly, it’s better than Ted Leo.

    • Where the hell did you come from? Do you want me to sit you down and give you a punk history lesson? Ted Leo is making some of the most relevant music in the punk scene right now. Great voice and amazing lyricist. And im sure your writing off Sum 41 cause their not PUNX.

  • Surprisingly good. Going back to the metal sound after a failed attempt return to pop-punk (though walking disaster was a great song). Whibley’s lyrics improve every record.

  • I think Sum 41 have done ok with Screaming Bloody Murder … it is a far cry from their old stuff but the album seems to be lacking energy , there a few great songs on the album like screaming bloody murder , baby you dont wanna know and blood in my eyes . It feels like ( forgive if you disagree ) Sum 41 are trying to do what green day did after warning expect we all know green day went on to become the greatest punk rock band history , but sum 41 have failed miserably . Whibley says he wrote song freely … many bands who do that get lucky but in the end many don’t … he could have relooked at the songs he just wrote and think to himself will this be good enough ? do i need to change the lyric ?

    in short it is a ok album but needed a lot more work and effort into it

  • more of a harder sound than their other albums, step in a more serious direction

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