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All Killer, No Filler

Sum 41

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Album Review

It would be a mistake to view Sum 41 as just another second-rate band cashing in on the early-'00s punk-pop boom, even if it did recruit Jerry Finn to produce All Killer No Filler. Just as Finn had done for both blink-182 and Green Day, he charges Sum 41's punk-pop with a razor-sharp edge, the sort of dynamic in-your-face sound that helps this music cross over to MTV and radio so well. Besides the notable production, a lot of credit should go to the band as well. Its songwriting is obviously more diverse here than it was a year earlier on its debut album, Half Hour of Power; for example, the group's rap and '80s metal influences rise to the surface more frequently here than on that first album and instill a fun sense of camp. "Fatlip" is perhaps the best example of how Sum 41 has made an effort to diversify the music with more than just power chords and melodic punk vocals. Judging from this album, Sum 41 still isn't quite on the same level as alt-rock peers such as Weezer or Green Day, but the band is obviously headed in the right direction. In the meantime, it's difficult not to enjoy this album for what it is, even if it's a bit derivative.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sum 41 hit worldwide radar in 1996 after tiny Ajax, Ontario, proved unable to fully contain the foursome's blathering mixture of punk-pop riffing, hip-hop poses, and toilet-bowl humor. Led by guitarist/vocalist Deryck Whibley, who looked like a mash-up of the Prodigy's Keith Flint and cartoon land's Calvin, the band also included guitarist/vocalist Dave Baksh, bassist Cone McCaslin, and drummer Steve Jocz. Wooed by the boys' goofy antics and incendiary live show (and excited about the prospect of...
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All Killer, No Filler, Sum 41
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