The rules of rock and roll don’t really take flash into account all the time. Even though there are people out there willing to play a million notes per second, there’s a beauty that comes from being straight and direct with every song you write. And when it comes to these songs, they haven’t wasted a second of their running time.
In each of these songs, none of them exceed 2 minutes, seeking to say their piece and get out of there before the audience even knows what hit them. Then again, limiting yourself to only 2 minutes also has its drawbacks, right? For example, where do you place a solo or what would you do if you were looking to bridge the song? In this case however, it does not limit you at all.
Since all you have is a small amount of time to work with, these serve only as compact snippets of fully fleshed out songs, having the same effect on you as an elaborate 15-minute project. Even though some of them end just as they start to start, continuing any longer would end up hurting the rest of the song most of the time. It’s rock music, and there’s a very simple formula for it: you get in, tear up the spirits, and get out.
When pop punk hit, Sum 41 always came out like a sore thumb. Even though they had the kind of tracks that would have killed the suburban pop punk crowd, they also had the chops to play some really complex stuff, with Chuck being almost a complete album on metal by punk standards. And we probably should have seen it coming from the final moments of All Killer No Filler.
From the opening notes and over-the-top music video, Pain for Pleasure isn’t necessarily meant to be taken seriously, especially since Stevo is said to have written most of the lyrics while he was in the bathroom. If you judge it on actual music alone, it’s no joke by any means, as Dave and Deryck work together perfectly swapping different lead licks that wouldn’t be out of place on your standard version of metal like Dio or Black Sabbath. .
While the song itself is only a few seconds long, Stevo also has a pretty decent screech by metal standards, shifting from the traditional growl register to a full metal screech that would have made Rob Halford proud at the time. Things were about to get a lot more serious a few records later, but it was just a fun little blunder that gave us a glimpse of what else Sum 41 could do. For all their pop punk cred, it seems like these guys really went back and listened to the young girl and the priest they talked about on Fat Lip.