It’s been almost two decades since Canadian pop-punks Sum 41 broke out with their 2001 debut, ‘All Killer No Filler’, and it’s no secret that the band have had their faire share of ups and downs since then.
Now, armed with their seventh studio album, ‘Order In Decline’, they’re out to prove that there’s no stopping them just yet.
One of the biggest achievements the quintet have managed to achieve is slowly breaking away from their original pop-punk roots and progressively becoming heavier as the outfit have matured, often a route that many bands from a similar era have tried and failed. However, with an intensely loyal fanbase, Sum 41 have only gone from strength-to-strength.
Opening track, ‘Turning Away’, introduces this latest era perfectly. The twinkling piano deceives your ears as the song opens up to an almighty thunder from the guitar and drums. The killer guitar solo from Dave Baksh showcases a slightly more metal sound; one of the many aspects from a mix of heavier genres chosen to experiment with throughout the record.
Halfway through the album lies ‘Heads Will Roll’, likely to be a song that will divide fans in that you’re either going to love it or hate it. It’s unbelievably catchy with the most infectious beat, and has a strong reminiscence of old school Green Day meets Queens Of The Stone Age riff.
Although ‘Order In Decline’ is one of the band’s heaviest albums to date, it doesn’t stop them from taking it down a notch and including two standout ballads, each holding their own emotional story.
‘Never Enough’ delves into frontman Deryck Whibley‘s relationship with his absent father whom he has never met, and ‘Catching Fire’ is the track that’s going to really tug on the heartstrings. Delicately tackling the topic of mental health and suicide, it’s written as a letter to Whibley‘s wife and how he’d feel if she passed away, but also hits close to home with the recent deaths of many celebrities who’ve taken their own lives.
Although Sum 41 have said in the past that they don’t intend to make a political album, it’s evident that it’s an underlying theme and, as a band who try to reflect relatable real life situations into their songwriting, it’d be pretty difficult to avoid the political elephant in the room.
The rage has mostly been confined to just one song, cleverly titled ’45 (A Matter Of Time)’ – named after America’s 45th President, Donald Trump. It’s an angst fuelled three minutes, and with lyrics like “Not worthy of a name / A number you’ll get / A symbol of meaninglessness void of respect”, it’s clear that they found a way to successfully vent a lot of their feelings in this track.
For a band to have managed to evolve over the years whilst still maintaining their own sound and style is a credit to say the least, and ‘Order In Decline’ is an asset to where hard work and dedication can get you. Together, they sound tighter than ever before, and this new heavier sound works perfectly for them. There was never any denying it, but Sum 41 have shown that they aren’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.