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Pop Music Review

Sum 41 Adds Bawdy Antics to Retro Rock

January 25, 2002|LINA LECARO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Audacious solos and inebriated, sexually charged stage antics are associated more with '80s metal concerts than modern punk or pop shows, but don't tell that to Sum 41. The Canadian rockers may sound like Blink-182's bratty little brothers, but at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday they were just as concerned with headbanger hell-raising as they were with pumping up the pit.

Though bawdy behavior is nothing new for bands of this ilk, Sum's old-school influences give them some extra charisma. The members were reared on flamboyant arena-rock, something they cop to in their radio hit "Fat Lip" ("Heavy metal and mullets, it's how we were raised/Maiden and Priest were the gods that we praised").

The sold-out show offered plenty of other revved-up cuts from their debut album, "All Killer No Filler," and though sloppy at times it never lacked entertainment value. However juvenile things got, the irreverent charm of guitarist Dave Baksh (who filled in gaps with brief Megadeth and Metallica licks) and singer-guitarist Deryck Whibley (who repeatedly announced his drunkenness and invited girls to come up and carry on) made for an atmosphere that obviously appealed to the young crowd.

Punctuated by an appearance by former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and underscored by Sum's tongue-in-cheek hair-band anthem "Pain for Pleasure," the mischievous nods to retro rock decadence were an ironic complement to the group's buoyant harmonies, brash beats and youthful vigor. All that was missing was some pyro and a lighters-in-the-air power ballad.

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