Sum 41 – Order in Decline (Album Review)
Sum 41 – Order in Decline
Released: July 19th, 2019
Deryck Whibley // Vocalist/Guitarist
Cone McCaslin // Bassist
Tom Thacker // Guitarist
Dave Brownsound // Guitarist
Frank Zummo // Drummer
When Canada’s favourite punk rockers, Sum 41 announced they were releasing a new album this year, I was pretty stoked. I’ve always enjoyed most of their albums (except for 2011’s Screaming Bloody Murder, which I like to pretend doesn’t exist it’s that bad), and although 2001 pop punk Sum 41 will always be my favourite era of the band, I’m willing to accept their new mature form of punk, borderline metal ways. Order in Decline follows on from their 2016 release, 13 Voices, except that it’s harder, faster, fiercer, and ultimately fuelled by the band’s frustration and anger towards society.
Order in Decline begins on a strong note with ‘Turning Away’ and this one’s a belter for those who feel a little hopeless in life. Huge emo punk vibes here, and I feel this song is the closest we’ll get to pre-2007 Sum 41. The band’s lead single ‘Out for Blood’ sees Deryck Whibley and the crew head for more metal riffs straight from the bat and when I first heard this track it kinda threw me back to the Underclass Hero days. It’s a heavier sound for the band though, but I’m all for this!
What is evident on this new Sum 41 record is the underlying political theme, particularly on these next four songs. ‘The New Sensation’ is about fighting resistance and Deryck’s vocals here sound on-fucking-point over the bridge and chorus. ‘A Death in the Family’ is hard, fast and guitarist Dave Brownsound’s guitar solo here is a highlight. While ‘Heads Will Roll’ sounds like unfamiliar territory and gives off some theatrical punk vibes here, ‘45 (A Matter Of Time)’ is the song that takes a direct hit at America’s current president. It’s punchy as fuck and the chorus is, I’m not gonna lie, easy to sing along to.
The album goes down a softer tangent here with ‘Never There’ – an ode to single parents everywhere. We all know Sum 41 can do upbeat punk songs really well, but they can nail emotional rock guitar ballads just as nicely. ‘Never There’ doesn’t disappoint at all, because it hits so close to home for me, having grown up in a single parent household myself. It’s my favourite track of this album by far, and I have a newfound respect for Deryck for creating this song.
Sum 41 prove their sound is as tight as ever in 2019 on these next two songs, where they up the ante on ‘Eat You Alive’, a short and fast hard-hitting punk anthem. While the extended intro riff on ‘The People Vs…’ sees the band rip out their most metal selves (like holy shit, it kinda feels like Slayer!), and the chorus here is the catchiest of the entire album. Closing out the album is the emotionally charged ‘Catching Fire’ which feels like a massive arena singalong. This song has some of the most powerful lyrics we’ve heard from the band, proving that Deryck’s songwriting is top notch.
‘Just so you know, you meant the world to us
I know that it’s too late
And all I want is another chance
I can’t accept that you have left.”
While it’s doubtful we’ll be seeing any pop/punk revival from these guys, Order in Decline is the best version of Sum 41 we’ve heard in years. They’ve gone from strength to strength and reignited their spark in music, making their sound as tight as ever. If you listen close enough, you’ll find samples of your favourite version of Sum 41 scattered right throughout this record – Order in Decline is the band’s past, present and future.
Sum 41 – Order in Decline tracklisting:
1. Turning Away
2. Out For Blood
3. The New Sensation
4. A Death In The Family
5. Heads Will Roll
6. 45 (A Matter Of Time)
7. Never There
8. Eat You Alive
9. The People Vs…
10. Catching Fire
Order in Decline is out this Friday on Hopeless Records. Pre-order here!
Review by Tamara May (@citylightsTAM)
Check out Sum 41‘s Jason ‘Cone’ McCaslin co-hosting our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast right here
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