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half hour of powerSo I went on a bike ride a few days ago and was all like “Imma listen to something that’s short and that I’ve not heard in a while.”

So I chose Sum 41‘s debut Half Hour of Power.

I haven’t listened to Sum 41 in years and just kinda decided too on a whim. For those of you don’t recall, Sum 41 were one of the better bands in the early aughts pop-punk explosion. They were like the angrier Blink 182. They put out a couple of pretty good albums.

My absolute favorite thing about the album is the opening song Grab The Devil By The Horns and Fuck Him Up The Ass. It’s like the best minute and seven seconds that Iron Maiden never actually recorded, a throwback track to 80’s metal, that shows where these dudes’ roots lie. For me at least it sets the mood to rock better than about any other minute of music could, cause who doesn’t want a badass galloping riff starting off their album?

It leads directly into a whole set of pretty good punk songs. Each has plenty of energy to spare. The standouts of the first half are Makes No Difference, which is just plain catchy, and Summer, which they re-recorded and also put on their second record All Killer No Filler. Both songs have good hook, and somewhat harmonized choruses. They’re just two really solid songs.

The second half of the record has some of the songs crossfaded into each other, with some of the songs having multiple parts, giving it a sort of punk collage feeling. So no idea overstays its welcome, and gives the whole record a great eclectic, brisk feel. For example Second Chance For Max Headroom has a tiny ska horn segment that combines essentially two tiny songs.

My next favorite part is the two-part song Dave’s Possessed Hair / It’s What We’re All About. The first half of the song is a strong punk song, but at the minute forty-five mark it goes head on into a different riff which acts as a 45 second intro into the second half which is a rap-rock song with a great riff. Which happens to be about how awesome ROCK is. And if there’s one thing I appreciate in music it just happens to be songs about the metaphysical awesomeness of rocking ( or partying (or dancing (but that’s not really in this genre))). Songs about rock are just meta-awesome in that sort of you can’t help but get pumped when listening to them sort of way.

And to make things even better, that song leads directly into Ride The Chariot to The Devil, which not only has a great title, but is a reprise of the opening track, which encapsulates most of this record as little nugget of awesome.

So while I don’t really listen to a lot of pop punk, or actually all that much punk in general I still really like this little record. It’s hard hitting, has variety and a bunch of pretty great songs. It might not be as well known as some of Sum 41’s other albums, and they in general might not be super well regarded, after the mid to later aughts emo invasion / pop punk backlash years, but dammit I like the shit outta it.

It’s pretty fuckin’ great.

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