March 29, 2011 - Island
The words "Sum 41" and “maturity” might seem mutually exclusive, especially considering the rather rudimentary regression of 2007's all-too-forgettable Underclass Hero. However, the band’s fifth full-length, Screaming Bloody Murder, sees the the Sums entering into adulthood—unfortunately, that process also includes all of the inevitable missteps of adolescence. This is made obvious immediately from the opener “Reason To Believe,” an upbeat anthem that unexpectedly shifts into the kind of piano ballad that probably would've made frontman Deryck Whibley snicker only a few years ago. Screaming Bloody Murder certainly isn’t lacking in ambition; the problem is that for every hook-driven rager like “Sick Of Everyone” and the title track, the album is dragged back down by a sappy love song like "Crash" or a garage-rock lite tune like “Time For You To Go.” While we believe that Sum 41 have the potential to succeed without the aid of power chords, the fact that only a handful of the musical ideas on the album are fully developed makes for a frustrating listening experience.