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Sum 41: Underclass Hero

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Pow! A right hook leaves us with a fat lip. Sum 41 has been in the pop/punk rally for quite some time now. Following their last rebellious breakthrough, Chuck, they have come back to their roots, short-handed but still running strong. Their latest release, Underclass Heroes, has turned out to be everything and nothing that an adoring fan would expect. With newly emerged piano overtones and impressive vocal melodies, Sum 41 takes the cake with this one. Although having heard All Killer No Filler's "Fat Lip," the title track to Underclass Heroes was nothing surprising. Thinking I had this album pinned down within the first five tracks, I was surprised when Linkin Park decided to show its biomechanical figure. Timid to venture on through this teen idol slugfest, I was soon set at ease when a catchy Beatles-esque tune presented itself. Sung all in French, "Ma Poubelle" made the wait worthwhile only to soar back into their high-energy, in-your-face antics, revealing the political side of these crazy Canadians. Finding myself out of tracks but still wanting more, I was satisfied but not full. After years of playing the undeclared stepchild of Blink 182 and Green Day, Sum 41 has now moved out and decided to take responsibility into their own hands.

—Kyle Letner