15 years ago there’s a pretty good chance you watched a life-changing music video (whether on MTV2, Fuse, or Yahoo!) by an up-and-coming pop-punk band out of Canada. That video, featuring anarchy barbie dolls and various pop culture action figures, was for Sum 41′s massive 2002 single “The Hell Song.”
Speaking as a bunch of former angsty teens who completely worshiped that video at the time, “The Hell Song” served as less of a soundtrack for our middle school days and more of inside look into the chaos that circulated throughout our juvenile brains on a day-to-day basis. Needless to say, Sum 41 spoke to us in a major way back in 2002.
Assuming a similar experience took place for many of you reading this, we’d like to think – like us – you completely lost your mind when you saw Sum 41 announced a 15-year anniversary tour for their sophomore LP Does This Look Infected?. Not only will the band be playing all the hits (”Over My Head,” “Still Waiting”) but they’ll also be ripping into some fan-favorite deep cuts like “My Direction” and “A.D.I.C” with original members Deryck Whibley, Dave “Brown Sound” Baksh and Cone McCaslin as well as drummer Frank Zummo and guitarist Tom Thacker.
Now, to get you guys even more excited and prepared for the upcoming 21-date tour, we reached out to Sum 41′s tourmates and fellow Canadian act Seaway (specifically drummer Ken Taylor) to help refresh your memory on just how kickass Does This Look Infected? really is.
Walking you through track by track, Taylor (being the huge Sum 41 fan he is) will help you remember exactly why you fell in love with one of Sum 41′s biggest records. To check out Taylor’s in-depth recap of Does This Look Infected? be sure to look below. Afterward, make sure to pick up tickets to see Sum 41 and Seaway out on tour together alongside Super Whatevr here.
“The Hell Song”
The opening riff transports me back to watching Much Music on my couch. It’s instantly recognizable, and the music video is such a classic that I can’t separate it from the song itself. This song encompasses all the greatest parts of Sum 41 and is a great way to start off the record and any concert.
“Over My Head (Better Off Dead)”
Once again, the riffs. The palm-muted/highlighted notes in the verses are perfect. The chorus is huge. Definitely a guaranteed sing-a-long from the get-go. Also, can’t go wrong with a buttload of pinch harmonics. Huge track.
Straight up pop-punk chorus. Super fast verses with a great message:
(”Picture this every day, kids that just can’t find a way. Stuck in disarray can’t find hope for better days. It’s the degeneration of childhood frustration. In the last 30 years, teenage suicide has increased 300% in North America; It is the second major cause of death in Canada.”)
This was likely the first time I had heard a band openly discussing suicide in their songs and it showed me a different side of one of my favourite bands, while also proving that you can write a serious song without having to make it musically dark.
Instantly recognizable. Once again, I always tie this song in with the music video (The Sums, Will Sasso). Huge chorus that you can’t help but sing along to. I think this was the first single released from Does This Look Infected? and it got me so pumped for the release.
Definitely the reason for the “Parental Advisory” logo on the cover, which obviously made me want the record even more when I was a kid. I remember seeing a segment on the evening news about this song prior to the release. Blast beats, booming drums, a lot of swearing. Can’t go wrong.
Opening riff is debatably a nu-metal riff. I love how it picks up momentum in the chorus. The second verse has a palm-muted part that wouldn’t be too out of place in early 2000’s metalcore and that is quite alright with me. Oh, the bridge is a face-melting guitar solo? God damn right it is. Love this track.
“All Messed Up”
Another classic pop-punk banger. Lyrically and musically it is just exactly what I want out of a song by Sum 41. The bridge has a part that reminds me of The Who. GOOD SHIT.
Fast drums, fast guitars, call and response screaming and singing. Super angsty, super thrashy. The bridge is 100% one of my favourite parts out of their entire catalog. You will see me in the pit during that part at a few shows on this tour.
“Thanks for Nothing”
This one opens up with Steve-O on vocals and I’m all about that. Super-pissed off lyrics and a big chorus make this a sing-a-long for sure. Throw in a machine gun chugging breakdown in the bridge and yep, I’m hooked.
Impossible not to headbang to this one. This is one of those songs that you want to be at the barrier for. Or crowdsurfing over the barrier. Or launching off the stage over the barrier. Hmmm…
Opens up with the metallic side of Sum 41 that I love. The chord choices in the chorus catch you off guard and keep things interesting. Lots of double-kick in this song which keeps it galloping along at a vicious pace just when you need it.
A great choice for the closing track, “Hooch” sums up all the different sounds that you get from this album. The drop out at the end of the song with Deryck gently singing “I’ll fall into you, but don’t believe that this is real” is perfect and I can’t wait to see the crowd sing along every night on this tour.