CDs Revisited: Sum 41 - 'Half Hour of Power'
Anyway: Sum 41's Half Hour of Power. Far from the band's best work, but also far from their worst. Maybe. I guess that's debatable. For a band that I barely ever listen to anymore, I still have a lot of strong opinions about Sum 41. Like a lot of people my age, I fell into the perfect demographic for All Killer, No Filler- aware enough to buy into anything that was being promoted as counter-culture but still dumb enough to not really understand anything beyond that. In spite of that, they're a band that I'll jump to defend, because no matter what, I think they're a band that made some large (and positive) strides with their music between their debut and the two albums that followed it. (Their post-Chuck albums are... well, they exist and I'll dissect those when I get to them.)
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Half Hour of Power is before any of that, and it's not really all that great. And I say that as someone who still enjoys All Killer, No Filler. Yeah, it showcases the band's
interests in metal, pop punk, and hip hop, but it doesn't really have a very good flow and it's not all that memorable outside of "Makes No Difference" and "Summer" (the latter is really only memorable because it also appears on AKNF). I (embarrassingly) know almost every word to "What We're All About" thanks to the Spiderman soundtrack, and in comparison the early version here doesn't do much for me. And what's up with the ska interlude in "Second Chance for Max Headroom"? It just feels kind of tacked in there to appeal to the Warped crowd and not because the band actually wanted to write the song that way.
One thing that I always forget about Half Hour of Power is that it's an EP. At 11 songs, it's practically its own album even though it could use a lot of trimming around the edges. But, much like some EP's, this feels a lot like a lead-in to what was going to come next rather than a release that was meant to stand on its own. Which, considering how heavily Sum 41 was marketed as one of the next big things in the blink-182 boom of the early 2000's, I guess makes sense.
To summarize: I'll occasionally make an argument for why Sum 41 isn't as bad of a band as people remember them, but I certainly won't point to Half Hour of Power as evidence of that.
You can stream it below.
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