Tag Archives: sum 41

New Releases = More Tunes

My two favourite band are both releasing new albums this month. This makes me extremely happy, not only do I adore their music, but it also means I get to buy music that’s current and wasn’t released a decade ago.

As with most upcoming major releases, singles have been released prior to both album’s launches. This is what I wanted to talk about. Hearing either song inspires me to pick up my guitar and get writing again, they both overwhelm me with a crushing need to play music and perform in front of an audience again. After listening to both the other night on spotify, I sat down with my guitar until I wrote something. It’s not much at the moment, but it’s got enough ideas and potential to bring together an entire song.

Anyway, let’s look at the bands!

Rise Against – Help Is On The Way
Since I was given Revolutions Per Minute for my birthday by my best friend some 5 years ago, I have become obsessed with Rise Against, buying every album, EP and going to every show I can possibly get to.

Their new song is taken from the album Endgame, which is released on 14 March 2011(sounds like a trip to HMV during my lunch break on Monday!)

There’s something about the opening riff that captures my attention, but unfortunately the majority of the song sounds like rehashes and reused harmonics from songs off their previous album, Appeal To Reason. Not a bad thing, but it’s not as good as their early stuff. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the record is like.

Sum 41 – Screaming Bloody Murder
These guys were my favourite bands until I discovered Rise Against. Sum 41’s music was some of the first rock I listened to, and Motivation was probably the first song I learnt to play in it’s entirety. Needless to say, they hold a special place in my heart.

The album is out on 29 March 2011. The first single is also the title track.

In contrast to Rise Against’s single, this is very different to anything that I’ve heard from Sum 41 before. It makes me wonder in which direction the album will go in. Each record the band have put out changes their sound, often going from pop-punk to metal and back.

The song however, feels rather disjointed, almost as it it was written in a studio and riffs were attached to each on a computer, rather than by sitting down with a couple guitars and seeing what worked.

That’s not to say I don’t like the track, the solo was a particular highlight, but given that the album has been repeatedly delayed you have to wonder what the band were doing all that time. Let’s hope the rest of the album has more polish.


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Filed under Awesome Bands I Like, Band, Song Writing


When I was a wee little student we were always told about the evils of plagiarism. If you don’t know what plagiarism is, let me tell you; it’s a bit like terrorism for academics. Someone who plagiaries (plagiarist?) steals the ideas and concepts from one academic/scientist/whatever and passes them off as their own.

Thinking about it, that’s nothing like terrorism. If anything, it’s intellectual property theft.

Anyway, this was drilled into me during my three years as a wannabe social scientist, and two years on, I am finding it hard to shake off. I don’t find this a problem at work (dog eat dog…I’m not very popular in the office), but it is a problem when I’m writing songs.

Countless times I’ve discarded a perfectly good riff because it sounds like an Offspring song. It always seems to be The Offspring as well. I’m not the biggest fan in the world, nor do they inspire me to write (although hearing Original Prankster when I was 13 made me want to learn to play the guitar, but that’s a different story).

I spent quite a while last week writing an intro riff, when I was done I though “Bugger, that sounds like Kids Aren’t Alright”. I played the riff to Jacko later on in the week when we met up to write some new stuff (we actually met up to finish an older song, we never finish them, just jump to the next) he noted the similarity, but said not to worry about it. He reasoning was that there is a limit to how many riffs you can write, and playing the sort of music we play, you bound to sound like somebody else.

He’s got a point. If you are a SUM 41 fan (I am! New album out this year, yes!) you may remember back to to 2002 when Still Waiting was released (first single off Does This Look Infected), the whole music press and community were up in metaphorical arms because the main riff from the single was ripped off from Dammit I Changed Again by, yep, you guessed it, The Offspring!

Maybe it’s because The Offspring have been around for so long now, people can’t help but rip them off.

Oh well. If SUM 41 can get away with it, so can I.

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