RE­VIEWS

TAK­ING ONE FOR THE TEAM MON­TREAL POP-PUNKS MAKE ANOTHER SIM­PLE PLAN AL­BUM THAT SOUNDS JUST LIKE SIM­PLE PLAN

Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents - JENNYFER J. WALKER

Sim­ple Plan have a new al­bum? What’s that gonna be like? A Sim­ple Plan al­bum, say we. But does that mean it’s any good (p50) ? Ooh, and The

Gaslight An­them ’s Brian Fal­lon tells us the story of how The ’59 Sound made him a star (p53) .

JUST TWO weeks ago, Youtube fun­ny­man Jar­rod Alonge ribbed Sim­ple Plan in his lat­est par­ody video, Sunrise Skater Kids’ All The Old Things. To the tune of the Mon­treal fi ve-piece’s 2002 hit I’m Just A Kid, he mock­ingly whined, ‘I’m get­ting old and life is a night­mare / I’m get­ting old I just found my fi rst grey hair / No­body cares ’cause all the kids in to­day’s pop-punk scene were born af­ter 1999’.

Sure, it’s a big joke, but he’s kind of got a point. Front­man Pierre Bouvier is 36 now, which in pop-punk years makes him, like, 72. Yet, lyri­cally, him and his band­mates have barely ma­tured from the whim­per­ing young­sters they were when they made it big 14 years ago, af­ter putting out No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls (note the con­tin­u­a­tion in punny al­bum ti­tles).

With Tak­ing One For The Team, the most ir­ri­tat­ing ex­am­ple of this is on I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed – which fea­tures Nelly (Hello? 2009 called, it wants its guest ap­pear­ances back), and an ‘I don’t wanna go to bed…’ cho­rus that sounds more like a petu­lant child throw­ing a tantrum than a dude ser­e­nad­ing his lady.

Another is smushy bal­lad Prob­lem Child. Pre­sum­ably an open let­ter to his par­ents, Pierre cloy­ingly croons, ‘I never meant to be your prob­lem child…’ while you sit and wish he’d had this con­ver­sa­tion in his liv­ing room rather than on record. Then there’s ca­lypso/reg­gae-in­spired Singing In The Rain… but the less said about that, the bet­ter.

How­ever, if you ac­cept Tak­ing One For The Team for what it is, which is just another Sim­ple Plan al­bum, then there’s lots to en­joy. Clos­ing track I Dream About You ac­tu­ally is a de­par­ture for the fi ve­some, and sees them dab­ble in dreamy synths, play­ing un­der­neath de­li­cious vo­cals from Juliet Simms. Else­where, New Found Glory’s Jor­dan Pundik lends his dis­tin­guished voice to Farewell, a pleas­ing and eas­ily-di­gestible slice of pop-punk.

The two tracks most tak­ing one for the team, though – and mak­ing this al­bum worth the fi veyear wait – are Boom! and I Don’t Wanna Be Sad. The lat­ter is a big band-sound­ing PMA an­them, which, un­der all the jazz-hands, has an im­por­tant mes­sage that will res­onate with the masses (some­thing Pierre and co have ex­celled at on ev­ery al­bum). And then there’s Boom!. Ar­guably the best song Sim­ple Plan have ever writ­ten, it’s catchy, an­themic, in­stantly like­able and proves ex­actly why Sim­ple Plan are still go­ing strong. DOWN­LOAD: Boom!, I Don’t Wanna Be Sad. FOR FANS OF: All Time Low, 5 Sec­onds Of Sum­mer, Good Char­lotte.

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