All Killer No Filler
All Songs written and Performed by Sum 41
Produced by Jerry Finn
Mixed by Tom Lord-Alge
Guest Artist: Greg Noiri of Treble Charger

track list:
1. Introduction to Destruction
2. Nothing On My Back
3. Never Wake Up
4. Fat Lip
5. Rhythms
6. Motivation
7. In Too Deep
8. Summer
9. Handle This
10. Crazy Amanda Bunkface
11. All She's Got
12. Heart Attack
13. Pain For Pleasure

CanCon: Coming from a bunch of crazy Canadian kids, the album gets a MAL on the MAPL Canadian content scale. That is to say, the music and lyrics were written and performed by Canadians.

Overall Impressions:
Less Pop than Blink 182 and less Rock than the Offspring, Sum 41's sound on All Killer No Filler is difficult for me to define clearly. While there is a fair bit of Punk in their music, most purists would lynch me for calling this a Punk album. The band describes themselves as a Punk-influenced Rock Band, which fits better than anything else I can think of, but there's a fair bit of 70's Metal flavour in places as well.

Standout Tracks:

1. Introduction to Destruction - "The Dark Armies then will come, when the sum is 41" Right off the bat, the boys in Sum 41 want to establish that they don't take themselves seriously. They're having fun, and doing what they love. This track is a nod to the "Satanic" Metal bands of yesteryear, with its dark, evil sounding narrator, and wind howling in the background.

2. Fat Lip - "I know I'm not the one you thought you knew back in high school, never going, never showing up when we had to" The first single off the album, this is one of the best bad attitude songs I've heard in a while. Shifting from near-rap to a softly (in comparison) sung refusal to be relied on, Fat Lip is a declaration that the singer is not the person everyone wants him to be, and that he never will be.

7. In Too Deep - "Maybe we're just trying too hard, when really it's closer than it is too far" If Fat Lip is the hardest song on the album, then this is the lightest. An incredibly catchy second single, this is a song about trying to keep a clear head in a relationship, before you get carried away.

10. Crazy Amanda Bunkface - "I don't wanna try to just be friends, nothing's gonna change my mind again" First off, how can you not love a song called "Crazy Amanda Bunkface", unless of course you're the Amanda in the title. Then it would be very easy to not love this song, as it is a breakup song, plain and simple. The singer has come to realize that his significant other is a mentally unstable control freak, and he's had enough. He wants a clean break, and leave no doubt in her mind that her attempts to change him were unsuccessful and unappreciated.

13. Pain For Pleasure - "Pain for pleasure, he's the hunter you're the game; pain for pleasure, Satan is his name!" They opened the album with a sly nod to the Metal albums they love, and they close it in the same way. Heavily metaphorical lyrics, wailing guitars, a screaming lead singer, and a "Satan" or two thrown in for good measure.

The Videos:

The videos for Fat Lip and In Too Deep were shot as part of a trilogy of sorts, along with Makes No Difference off the album Half Hour of Power. All three were shot in and around the band's home town of Ajax, Ontario, and feature the band surrounded by friends, family, schoolmates, and other locals. Beginning with an impromptu rap for the owner of a convenience store, Fat Lip is a showcase of the... unconventional youth of Ajax. Punks, Goths, Skaters, one all around freaky looking guy, a visit from the police, and a boy band dance parody make up this video, shot in a parking lot and a skateboard park. At the end of this video is a video for Pain for Pleasure, with the band dressed in tight animal patterned clothes and big hair, with the lead singer in black leather and a motorcycle hat.

In Too Deep takes place at a pool, and the premise is a diving contest between the boys in the band and a team of red speedo wearing jocks. The band wins of course, much to the delight of the fans in the stands. Between the guitarist rising from the water to perform his solo, and the drummer bouncing off two extra diving boards on the way down, this video is light and fun, much like the song.


Enhanced CD features:
All Killer No Filler is an enhanced CD, and one of the better ones I've seen. The fact that it didn't require me to install anything was a definite plus. A fairly simple interface gives the user access to the videos for Fat Lip and Pain For Pleasure, complete with the rap at the beginning of Fat Lip. Also included is a bunch of extra footage from the filming of Fat Lip that didn't make the cut, including an extended version of the opening rap, and the band members attempts to show off their solo dancing moves.

Where you can hear it:
If you want to hear some of their stuff before you buy the CD, and don't consider downloading the songs an option, there are a few other places that the band's songs keep popping up. Aside from the obvious rock radio stations and music video channels, the band's music has also been featured more than once on the sitcom Malcolm in The Middle. I have heard both In Too Deep and Motivation on the show this season, but there may have been others. The movie Van Wilder, from National Lampoon also lists Sum 41 in the trailers, but as I have not seen the film, I can't say how prominantly the music is featured.

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