A handful of songs are morally neutral riffs on romantic trials. Parodying an ’80s glam-rock band, “Pain for Pleasure” makes accurate statements about Satan’s seductive agenda (“The devil stabs you in the back . . . Torture is his leisure . . . He’s the hunter, you’re the game”). Even so . . .
This disc opens with a short poem that sounds like an excerpt from occult literature. A tribute to apathy and teen rebellion, “Fat Lip” boasts of alcohol use, the destruction of property, deifying heavy metal bands and “having fun at other people’s expense.” The uncaring phrase “I don’t give a s—” appears on that cut, as well as on “Motivation.” Angst and futility reign. “Never Wake Up” repeatedly wails, “I plan on never waking up.” “Heart Attack” questions the point of getting out of bed (the singer also crows, “[I’m] not ashamed of the bad habits that I’m forming”).
During “Fat Lip,” one bitter nonconformist yells, “The doctor said my mom should’ve had an abortion!” A dim reflection of some teens’ own perceived worth in society, this anthem resonated with enough MTV viewers to make it a number-1 video. Sum 41 would serve disenfranchised fans better by encouraging them to make a difference instead of pandering to a slacker mindset.