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Sk8er Punk's final F8? Let's hope not. - No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls

2006-03-29 18:20

Sure, the vocals are barked rather than sung and the music does skip along to an infectious and frothy energetic mix of two-and-a-half chord, bash those drums and pluck that bass fret-board beat.

But ultimately this 12-song set of 3-minute anthems from adolescent Canadian quintet Simple Plan is about as invigorating as watching MTV's Jackass on the big screen. Boy vs. girl anthems like "You Don't Mean Anything to Me" are cloying in their buoyant bounce as are the definitive "oh, misunderstood me" jams "I'm Just a Kid" and "God Hates Me".

Where South Africa's own Tweak prove that adrenaline fuelled teenage daydream tunes that don't take themselves too seriously can kick some serious party ass, Simple Plan sound subsumed by their suburban existence rather than any desire to tear it down. On "Meet You There" and "Addicted" they try way too hard to tap into the precarious teenage dirtbag delights of puppy love and end up sounding - well, just silly. Think such criticism is too harsh? Try this lyrical gem on for size: "I heard you're doing okay/But I want you to know/I'm a dick/I'm addicted to you". Enough said.
Blame it on Avril Lavigne. It's the self-proclaimed spokeswoman for a generation of disaffected mall rats' fault for spawning such derivative drivel and having the audacity - if not the balls to call it sk8er punk. Well, for the record there's nothing remotely punk or sk8 about Simple Plan's oh-so-summery set of jangle guitar driven teen power pop ditties.


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