alt="Sum 41 - Chuck (2004, Aquarius Records/Island Records/Mercury Records) COVER"Artwork by Louis Marino & GIA

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Sum 41 – Chuck

Album | 12/10/2004 | Aquarius Records/Island Records/Mercury Records
41:48 | 14 tracks | Vinyl/CD/Digital
Melodic Hardcore / Alternative Rock
Ajax, ON, Canada

Coming of Age

In 2004, Sum 41 had already been through three band name changes and had released the two longplayer All Killer No Filler (2001) and Does This Look Infected? (2002). With the melodic Pop and Skate Punk they presented on these two albums, they quickly gained attention and success. Nevertheless, Sum 41 at this time were something like the Canadian Blink 182, or the not-so-pathetic Good Charlotte. But with their third album Chuck, the band presented a whole different, and way more grown-up and serious sound.

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From the Skate Park to the Warzone

The album that is named after a UN peace keeper who helped to secure Sum 41 and other civilians from a war zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo marks the beginning of a new Sum 41 sound. Without neglecting their melodic hymnic chants or their Punk Rock background, the Canadian band dared to walk on new paths. Sure, some of them seemed a little familiar like the System of a Down-like themes in Angels with dirty Faces or the similarity between Bitter End and Metallica’s Battery. Be that as it may, Sum 41 have never before sounded so tough, so reflected, and so self-confident.

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Looking for the Golden Thread

There is exactly one thing that disturbs the joy over Chuck, and it is neither the ballads, nor the references to previous releases. The fourteen tracks are a ragtag of themes and ideas, a schmozzle of sounds and styles. To say it in short terms: there is no consistency, no golden thread to be found on Chuck. Sum 41 dared to cross bridges from Skate Punk to Thrash Metal and from Pop Punk to Melodic Hardcore and Alternative Rock. But they never set both feet on the other side of any bridge when recording this album. And thus, this collection of some awesome and many great songs is both, full of positive surprises and longueurs.
5/10 Mangoes

Next week in this series:

Aztec CameraKnife (1984 | Sire Records / Warner Music)

We will dance again

Mia Schem

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