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Review: Sum 41, All Killer No Filler

If you’re barely out of your teens and you’re skateboarding onto the third or fourth wave of punk rock, you’d better have twice the sense of humor and half the pretension.

Canada’s Sum 41 like to set things on fire and admit they sometimes wish they hadn’t chosen that name, and their debut video makes them out as vintage Orange County pranksters. In other words, they’re new-millennium punk – slick, self-aware master entertainers in baggy shorts.

All Killer lays a hearty ground cover of la-la-la superpop underneath its metal-hip-hop-ska shrubs. The single “Fat Lip” veers smoothly from Beasties to Blink to Black Sabbath, and then turns into the sound-alike “Rhythms,” and so on. Sum 41 are sharp musicians and have the songcraft thing down (or at least one version of it), and their inability to stay away from old-school satanic metal is endearing. Call it ADD rock for the vaguely unsatisfied.

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