Does This Look Infected?
One of the score of punk-pop acts to make a dent in the music scene in the late 1990s, Sum 41 graduated from the Blink-182 school of no-nonsense bar-E buzzsaw brat punk.
Regardless of this rather sad and embarrassing fact, the Canadian four-piece's latest album, Does This Look Infected? out--classes anything their US peers have, and possibly will ever, cook up.
Touring with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Offspring in its formative years, Sum 41 hit the big time in the US and Canada in mid-2000, surprising everyone when its debut single, Fat Lip, became an overnight radio and MTV smash. Six months later the band repeated this success when its debut album All Killer, No Filler, proved an equally huge success both at home and abroad.
Having conquered the hearts and minds of testosterone-fuelled teenagers across the globe with its inane bubble-gum take on punk rock, Sum 41 are back on record store shelves this month with a new sound, or rather sounds, plural.
Does This Look Infected? sees the combo taking listeners on a musical roller-coaster ride of punk musical styles, proving that the combo has a lot more to offer than single bar-chord crass vulgarity.
One minute Sum 41 are assailing eardrums with Clash Tommy Gun-era styled heavy-on-the-drums guitar-driven discord and the next the Canadians are in pure evil thrash metal mode. The album's highlights, however, are the power-chord post-punk anthem, The Hell Song, and the classy piece of shaky new wave, Over My Head.
Consider the Meek
Nobody Will Survive
Before moving to Taiwan, Aussie Kevin Lee and his politico-punk act, Consider the Meek, enjoyed a reasonable following as minor players in the Melbourne punk scene.
Moving to the deepest, darkest depths of Taoyuan City last year -- for reasons we shan't go into here -- Lee, along with South African national and CTM bassist, Kent Dylan, poached a drummer from local punk act, Spunka, and have re-launched CTM's career in Taiwan.
Releasing its debut EP Nobody Will Ever Win two weeks ago, CTM have been ignored by much of the local underground music press despite receiving critical acclaim from the US's leading punk-zine Maximum Rock'n'Roll.
The material on the EP is not of the airbrushed punk-pop ilk. It's rough and ready and heavy on anti-US lyrical rhetoric and might not be to everyone's liking. While the roots of much of the material lie in a blend of new-school punk and the Crass style of jerky slightly-out-of-tune politico-punk, more musical tinges do edge their way into the proceedings.
Protector of the World sounds remarkably like the early Clash meet Jonathan Richman, while Designer Society has a bassline not far removed from that found on Brit punk stalwarts, the UK Subs' 1981 tune, Party in Paris.
According to Lee, a less rough-and-ready and polished Consider the Meek will be unveiled sometime in early June when the band's debut album is set to hit record store shelves.
Having built up a reputation for funky break-tinged indie-pop with his Adventures in Stereo, DJ Simon Dine teamed up with vocalist Daisy Martey in 2000 and created Noonday Underground.
Veering away from funk, Dine and Martey's Underground looked instead to the late 1960s West Coast pop for influence. Releasing its debut Self Assembly in 2000, the band found themselves lauded by ex-Jam front-man Paul Weller as "the most influential band of all time" in a poll by the UK's New Musical Express (NME).